Three works converge in Where Rivers Meet, connecting time and place from ancient Japan to contemporary America: Sumida River, Song of the Yanaguana River and Curlew River.
Where Rivers Meet is a performance and education project that brings together the international and the local, with Japanese theater arts as the primary source of inspiration. This aspirational project will culminate in a world première: a triple bill of the noh play Sumida River; a new kyogen-inspired interlude (Song of the Yanaguana River) by Carmen Tafolla, San Antonio's Poet Laureate Emerita and 2015 Poet Laureate of Texas; and Benjamin Britten’s noh-influenced “church opera” Curlew River. Where Rivers Meet will be performed four times: at the Dougherty Arts Center, Austin (Nov 3); at the University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio (Nov 5); at St. Luke's Episcopal Church and School, (Nov 6); and at the Asia Society Texas Center, Houston (Nov 8). A robust series of educational events—workshops, public lectures and demonstrations, an exhibition of noh-related items at San Antonio's Central Library, a symposium, and a film series—is designed to enhance the performances.
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November 3 (Tuesday), 7:30 p.m., Dougherty Arts Center, Austin
November 5 (Thursday), 7:30 p.m., University of the Incarnate Word, Music Building, Chapel of the Incarnate Word (Motherhouse)
November 6 (Friday), 7:30 p.m., St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
November 8 (Sunday), 3:00 p.m., Asia Society Texas Center, Houston
Where Rivers Meet involves three separate performing groups—one for the noh play, one for the interlude, and one for the opera—and a host of educational events, many of them free and open to the public. Help us bring this vision to life:
Through November 8, Marie Swartz Art Resource Center, Central Library, San Antonio – Arts of Noh: An Exhibit for “Where Rivers Meet”
Arts of Noh brings together thirteen noh masks by master artisan Hideta Kitazawa, a collection of dance fans, part of a noh costume, and books containing the words and music of noh. Like Japanese noh theater itself, most of these items are rarely seen outside Japan. Free and open to the public. (Central Library San Antonio)
September 3 (Thursday), 6:30 p.m., Chiego Lecture Hall, McNay Art Museum – Operatic Japan: From Noh Theater to Madama Butterfly
Celebrate two unforgettable performances this fall—Puccini’s Madama Butterfly presented by Opera San Antonio and Where Rivers Meet presented by Theatre Nohgaku, University of the Incarnate Word, and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. Operatic Japan features live performances of excerpts from Butterfly and from noh theater woven together with an informative talk by musicologist Kevin Salfen, University of the Incarnate Word. Free and open to the public. (McNay Art Museum)
Water Masks, Water Songs: A Confluence of Films for “Where Rivers Meet”
September 29-October 30, 2015
Water Masks, Water Songs is a film series inspired by the main themes of Where Rivers Meet: traditional Japanese noh theater, works of composer Benjamin Britten, the health of rivers, and artistic inspiration across cultures. The film series is also a world tour, passing through the western states of the U.S., London and Scotland, Djibouti (Africa), Japan, France, and India, with a dip into the universal world of animation.
September 29 (Tuesday), 6:15-8:45 p.m., Central Library, San Antonio – A River Runs through It
October 4 (Sunday), 2-5 p.m., Prassel Auditorium, Witte Museum – The Unforeseen
October 23 (Friday), 5:00-7:30 p.m., UC Auditorium, UTSA – Night Mail and Beau travail
Night Mail (Harry Watt and Basil Wright, 1936, U.K., 25-min. documentary, with words by W.H. Auden and music by Benjamin Britten, black/white) – Pioneering documentary recording the drama of an overnight train transporting mail from London to Scotland. A newly-created version of the film by Dr. Peter Martens (Texas Tech University) will allow for Britten's music to be performed with a live ensemble under the direction of Dr. Brett Richardson (University of the Incarnate Word). Dr. Martens will introduce and analyze the film during its non-musical segments, and will provide live narration of Auden's verse. Those words, along Benjamin Britten’s remarkable score, imitate the rhythm of the train. Now a classic.
October 24 (Saturday), 3:00 p.m., DoSeum – Ponyo
October 25 (Sunday), 2-5:30 p.m., Room 101 (Auditorium) in Longwith Radio, Television, and Film Building, San Antonio College –The Men Who Tread on the Tiger’s Tail and Late Spring
October 30 (Friday), 6:00-9:30 p.m., Rosenberg Sky Room, UIW – Guest lecture by Dr. Linda Ehrlich (Case Western Reserve University), symposium dinner, The River
October 22-25; 29-November 1, Art Building, University of the Incarnate Word – Mask-making Workshop led by master artisan Hideta Kitazawa
An extraordinary opportunity for artists to learn how to make a traditional Japanese noh mask—from wood block to painted performance piece. The workshop will be led by master mask-maker Hideta Kitazawa, 13 of whose masks are on display through November 8 at the Central Library, San Antonio. Limited to 10 students. Registration available on this webpage soon.