Curlew River / Sumida Gawa – a unique musical event

Starting tonight, City Opera Vancouver, an arts group I have some close connections with, is putting on an intriguing show, so I thought I would spread the word. Here’s the summary from their recent mailout.
Experience music, dance and theatre… tragedy and redemption… East and West. All in one unforgettable evening. A unique dual presentation and a Canadian first. From the immortal Nöh drama Sumidagawa, two modern tellings.
  • Natsu Nakajima’s butoh dance, Sumida Gawa (“Sumida River”), starring Denise Fujiwara
  • Benjamin Britten’s chamber opera, Curlew River, starring Isaiah Bell
We build great bridges, crossing five centuries and two cultures in one narrative. We tell the story of a woman driven mad by the loss of her child. It is agonizing and beautiful. We tell the same story twice. Each inspired by the 15th century Japanese masterwork Sumidagawa, this unique double bill offers gorgeous music, deeply eloquent dance, and a vision of the Vancouver we are becoming. Nakajima’s Sumida River stars the legendary butoh artist Denise Fujiwara as Madwoman. Britten’s Curlew River stars the extraordinary young Canadian tenor Isaiah Bell as Madwoman, joined by John Minágro, Sam Marcaccini, Joel Klein, members of the Vancouver Cantata Singers, and a professional orchestra. Word is out. This will be an amazing evening of theatre, of dance and music, and of superb talent. Please don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime event. Last year, we had to turn away dozens of people from our smash hit The Emperor of Atlantis. Please – don’t be left out this year. We invite you to buy your tickets now. This is such a great show. Please don’t miss it. Japanese dance. Western opera. Together. Frederic Wood Theatre, just steps from the Chan Centre at UBC May 26, 27 and 28 at 7:30pm / May 30 at 2:30pm $40.00. Student ID $26.00 Online: In person: Sikora’s Classical Records, 432 West Hastings Street By phone: 604.812.3684 Information: Get an inside look at “Curlew River” rehearsals and preparations on the City Opera Facebook page. A co-production of City Opera Vancouver, UBC Theatre & Film, and Blackbird Theatre.

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