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US Premiere of Toshio Hosokawa's Hanjo in New York

Sep. 26, 2022

On September 30 and October 2, Catapult Opera, led by conductor Neal Goren and director/choreographer Luca Veggetti, presents the US premiere of Toshio Hosokawa's Hanjo, based on Yukio Mishima’s work of the same name, inspired by a 14th-century Noh play and included in his book of “Five Modern Nō Plays.” The esteemed Talea Ensemble comprises the orchestra for the performances which feature Eri Nakamura in the role of Hanako, mezzo-soprano Abigail Fischer as Jitsuko, and baritone Adam Richardson as Yoshio. The Silent Figure will be performed by theater artist Saori Tsukada. The composer notes:    

“[Hanjo] is my second opera. I want [it] to be different from those created by Westerners, and to be linked to the traditional Japanese theatre of Nô and Kabuki. At the same time, I want it to be an opera which resonates with contemporary audiences and overcomes the limited expressive capacity of Nô or Kabuki. For that purpose, it was necessary for me to study the traditions of Western-style opera and to learn many things from them. I have used for the libretto of this opera a play of the same title from the collected Modern Nô Plays of Yukio Mishima, which Mishima based on an original Nô drama also called Hanjo. Both Mishima's version and mine, while based on Japanese tradition, overcome its limitations, and while making the best use of methods learned from western theatre, revive old material in modern form."

In addition, an exciting new production of Hosokawa's monodrama, The Raven, opened at Opera Philadelphia on September 21 with performances running through October 1. These performances are part of Festival O22 at the Miller Theater in Philadelphia, PA. The piece was inspired by Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven. Hosokawa comments:

“When I read Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven, it reminded me of Japanese Noh plays. Their view of the world is not anthropocentric; rather, some of the main characters in the nō are animals and plants, while others are supernatural spirits. Poe described the process of the collapse of the modern world as a consequence of an "invasion" of that world by a strange animal living in another dimension – the raven. For the setting of this poem I have chosen the form of the monodrama for mezzo-soprano and ensemble, which is close to the Noh theater.”   

(Toshio Hosokawa's The Raven/Charlotte Hellekant, mezzo-soprano/
United Instruments of Lucilin/Kentaro Kawase, conductor)    

To learn more about Toshio Hosokawa visit

Toshio Hosokawa
Hanjo (2003 - 2004)
opera in 1 act
libretto (En) by Toshio Hosokawa, based on "Hanjo", a Nō play by Yukio Mishima, translated by Donald Keene
1(pic, bfl).1(ca).1(bcl).1(cbsn)- bells, b.d, 4tom-t, 4bng, vib, mar, cym.ant, tub bells, tam-t, 4rins on timp, 4tri)-hp.cel-str(db with 5 strings)

The Raven (2011 - 2012)
Monodrama for mezzo-soprano and 12 players
based on "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe
afl(pic.fl.bfl).bcl(cl).tsax(asax)-tpt.tbn-perc(vib, 3tri, cym.ant, tam-t, 4bng, b.d, 4Jap.wind bells[Furin], 4rins on timp, whip)-pno-str(