Director Kazuko Watanabe to stage localized version of ‘Orpheus’

by Nobuko Tanaka

Special To The Japan Times

Tokyo’s Bunkyo Civic Hall will mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of literary giant Ougai Mori with a one-off staging of Christoph W. Gluck’s 1762 opera “Orfeo ed Euridice” as translated and reworked by Mori, and simply retitled “Orpheus.”

The performance will be directed by Berlin-based theater director Kazuko Watanabe, who is actively involved in Europe’s art scene, has created a special adaptation of the work for this staging. As well as designing visual effects that blend Japanese and European styles and using custom-made Oriental-style costumes, Watanabe has also incorporated nichibu (Japanese dancing) choreographed and danced by Sumi Hanayagi into her work.

As well as paying homage to Mori, Watanabe intends the opera to be a special tribute to victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011.

“Orpheus” will be staged on Oct. 28 from 3 p.m. at Bunkyo Civic Hall, Tokyo. For more information, call (03) 5803-1111 or visit www.b-academy.jp.