Tomorrow, AOP will be holding its first libretto reading of Ugetsu, an opera-in-development by composer Michael Rose and librettist Emily Howard to be directed by little old me. If you were at the Composers & the Voice Six Scenes concert in 2003 then you heard a scene from Ugetsu then. I’m not sure how much has changed since then, but that’s something you can definitely ask Michael on Friday.
Michael was a composer during the first season of Composers & the Voice and we’re thrilled to have him bring his piece back with us for our current season of C&V that focuses on presenting works from our stable of 30 C&V composers. Not a bad collection! We paired with Mike just a week ago to present the first event in the C&V 08-09 calendar – Composers Up Close and Personal. There we saw C&V composers Ray Lustig, Daniel Sonenberg, Stefan Weisman, and Kala Pierson present works that first premiered at C&V, were later developed at AOP, and even some brand new music. C&V chair Tan Dun‘s “Pipa Concerto” was also performed.
Ugetsu is based on the 1953 Kenji Mizoguchi film Ugetsu monogatari (Tales of the Pale and Silvery Moon After the Rain) and is a ghost story about love or a love story about ghosts. And since it seems to be a requisite of this genre, there is pottery scene. A few actually. Mizoguchi is considered one of the greatest filmmakers of Japan and by coincidence the Criterion Collection released a box set of his works just this month. So come see the reading and then go home and watch the movies. I think you’ll be turning Japanese. I really think so.
The reading will be about an hour long followed by our discussion period where Michael and Emily will be able to get your feedback about what you just saw. Go to the events page to get your free tickets!