Sumidagawa / Curlew River

An extraordinary, fascinating and rewarding few days working on Curlew River, with a wonderful team of talented and generous Japanese performers joining our English director (David Edwards), musical director (Dominic Wheeler), production team, and chorus.  An absolute highlight for me was watching the performance of Sumidagawa, the Noh play by which Britten was bowled over in Tokyo, and which inspired him to write Curlew River.  The stillness and dignity of the Noh performance was utterly captivating, and the pacing and musical gestures, as well as very obviously the plot, made an enormous amount of sense of Curlew.  To present this double-bill in Orford Church, where Britten premiered Curlew River, and to have in the audience people who were in the audience at the very first performance and who were directly related to some of the original performers, was an honour indeed.