|A special production of the Twin Opera THE RIVER SUMIDA and
This twin opera was commissioned by GEIDANKYO , an organization for Japanese stage artists groups. It premiered in 1995 and was produced by the Produce Center. Minoru Miki composed his sixth opera as a combination of a tragedy and a comedy based upon a famous Noh and Kyogen Play. The plan and the libretto made by Mr. Asaya Fujita who has cooperated with Miki for more than thirty years in the theatrical field. This twin opera had to perform in a usual Noh theatre; it has special traditional scenery but no orchestra pit and must be performed under fixed lighting. Also the space is limited because of the theatres traditional use. Miki has kept the operas vocal and instrumental numbers as minimum as possible, and the opera can perform without conductor when required. Mikis five regular operas need an orchestra pit and many singers, and their performances last more than two hours. So this twin opera is Mikis only chamber opera. The opera is very suitable as a touring production in foreign countrys not only because of its small staff and minimal equipment, but also because it represents traditional Japanese theatre. The opera .can perform by approximately 10 singers including the chorus, 5 instrumental players and 6 dancers.
The story of THE RIVER SUMIDA
The original Noh play of this story created in 15th Century.
<NB> This story is used by Benjamin Britten in English for his famous church opera Curlew River. The world premiere of the opera has directed by Colin Graham who premiered Mikis second opera An Actors Revenge in 1979 and third opera Joruri in 1985. He also wrote the libretto of Mikis seventh opera The Tale of Genji which will premiere in 2000 under Grahams direction by the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, U.S.A.
The story of KUSABIRA
Tokoro-no-mono (a person in the village) feels uneasy when some huge Kusabira (mushrooms) sprout up in his house. He asks Yamabushi (a Buddhist monk) to pray for the Kusabira to vanish. Alas! But his praying cause the Kusabira to increase more and more. Miki sets these mushrooms to symbolize the ladies who have been disgraced by the phony Yamabushi. So the story moves to our contemporary society.