Contemporary Theatre x Contemporary Music = New "Musical Theatre"
How is new "music theatre" born?
This work rests on collaboration between chelfitsch / Toshiki Okada and Dai Fujikura. Okada has attracted great attention inside and outside Japan as one of the leading theatrical companies of the present age, and taken up the challenge of "music theatre" in various forms so far. Fujikura is a world-class composer who won the highest accolades also for his operas; the world debut of his opera A Dream of Armageddon, which was commissioned by the New National Theatre, Tokyo in 2020, evoked a huge response. These leading figures in the fields of contemporary theatre and contemporary music are joining hands to create this work, which will debut at Wiener Festwochen in 2023. It will be molded into a new type of "music theatre" based on a completely new relationship and interaction between speech and music. The actors will perform with the music by a technique other than singing, and the music will be a presence detached from expression of sentiments and feelings. This performance of a work in progress will present the process of examining and sharing methodology through the staging of a certain scene, and building a foundation for creation by drawing on the results. Klangforum Wien, a contemporary music ensemble based in Vienna, will also appear on the stage by means of EIZO-Theatre.
What kind of music will be born through the resonation of the music of Klangforum Wien, the live performance by a Japanese ensemble, and the words spoken by the actors? How will the relationship of words and music change, and where will it head, with the feedback by Okada and Fujikura? See the stirrings that will culminate in the birth of new "music theatre" with your own eyes!
What sort of meaning, function, role, and phase does music have or play in theatre? There exists a great, perhaps even unlimited, number of options as responses to this question. I would like to stage one of them by collaborative exploration of new territory. To put it simply, I want to put together a new type of music theatre. I am going to join hands with Dai Fujikura, a pliable yet edgy composer, and see how far we can go. Fujikura's music is very powerful. It is as if the music itself, or maybe even each instrument, is an actor. Therefore, while I still don't know the final shape at this stage, I picture these music and human actors as playing opposite each other, such that their relationship approaches one of human being and human being rather than human being and music. The newness of "new music theatre" may turn out to be something like this, for example.
I have thus far written three operas, but this is the first time for me to write a musical theatre piece. Indeed, I do not even know if such a thing exists in the world. It is not the same as what is normally meant by the term "music theatre."
From age three until I was ten, I took lessons from a theatrical troupe every week. That's why it brought back a lot of memories to watch the rehearsals every day with the group of actors led by Okada. Needless to say, the actors involved in this music theatre are first-rate.
Because of the pandemic, I will be working at my home in London, and the actors, at the rehearsal space in Tokyo. We will collaborate in putting the music, script, and direction of this work together.
We are into the second year of Covid-19, and the technology too differs from last year. The music I send out from the studio in my room reaches Tokyo in just 0.5 seconds, and with a quality on a par with or better than a compact disk. Through Zoom, I can watch the reaction of the actors to this music, discuss things with Okada, and try different music. Okada's script similarly changes every day and every session. Day after day, I had the feeling that Okada, I, and the actors were definitely creating the work together every minute, or rather every second.
It may turn out to be a performing arts piece in a genre that is truly without precedent, so much so, that dictionaries will have to add a new term and definition for it.
Date| November 5th(Fri) 17:00 ,2021
Duration| 60-90 min
Venue| Tower Hall Funabori, Small Hall
Admission| Free (Reservation required, All reserved seats)
Reservation| https://chel-fujikura-wip.peatix.com （Peatix）
Archive Streaming| (TBC)