Magazine article Opera Canada

City Opera Vancouver

Magazine article Opera Canada

City Opera Vancouver

Article excerpt

A magnificent presentation of classic grief and loss gripped the audiences in the University of British Columbia's Frederic Wood Theatre at the end of May. City Opera Vancouver, under the direction of Charles Barber, presented an unusual double bill of the Butoh dance, Sumidagawa (Sumida River), and Benjamin Britten's opera, Curlew River. Both reflect the ancient Greek belief in a journey to the afterlife, complete with a trial, a river and a ferryman. COV worked in partnership with Blackbird Theatre and UBC's Department of Theatre and Film to produce this exotic pairing.

The evening opened with a riveting performance by Denise Fujiwara interpreting the Noh drama Sumidagawa, as a solo dance on a bare stage with austere lighting. The story is based on a 15th-century play about a grieving mother who is searching for her kidnapped son. The experience has deranged her, but her grief is resolved when she finds his grave and hears his spirit's voice, which restores her mind. …

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