Matsukaze

Opera by Toshio Hosokawa | Choreography by Sasha Waltz

»Matsukaze« is among the best-loved classics of Japanese Noh Theatre. The sisters Matsukaze and Murasame are each in love with the same man; their feelings however remain unrequited in this life. Years after death the sisters’ spirits revisit this world ...

»Matsukaze« is among the best-loved classics of Japanese Noh Theatre. The sisters Matsukaze and Murasame are each in love with the same man; their feelings however remain unrequited in this life. Years after death the sisters’ spirits revisit this world in tireless pursuit of their beloved.

With the world première of »Matsukaze« Sasha Waltz follows up on her opera productions »Medea« and »Dido & Aeneas« which revolve around the fates of two female figures from ancient times. By way of her self-created choreographic opera Sasha Waltz has expanded the realm of Music Theatre, employing theatrical methods derived from Dance to fashion a new mix of dance, song and music.

Outstanding contemporary Japanese composer Toshio Hosokawa wrote the music to the reworked libretto of the Noh Theatre classic »Matsukaze«. Musical direction is by renowned conductor Pablo Heras-Casado. Together with soloists Barbara Hannigan and Charlotte Hellekant extraordinary singers unite once more with dancers from Sasha Waltz & Guests and the Vocalconsort Berlin on the opera stage.

Alongside its long-standing partnership with the Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg with whom the compagnie previously jointly produced »Dido & Aeneas« and »Medea«, Sasha Waltz & Guests is as well working in conjunction with the Opera La Monnaie in Brussels and the Berliner Staatsoper. For the first time the Polish National Opera joined Sasha Waltz & Guests in a production as a coproducer.


Sung in German
1:30 h | no interval
VORWORT
Pre-performance lecture, 45 minutes prior to each performance (in German)
A production by Sasha Waltz & Guests commissioned by Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in co-production with the Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg and Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera and in co-operation with the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Berlin.

The production »Matsukaze« is supported by Kulturstiftung des Bundes.
Made in Radialsystem®
Sasha Waltz & Guests are supported by funds of Berlin state.
  • Synopsis

    PRELUDE


    SEA
    A monk on an autumn pilgrimage reaches the coast of Suma towards evening. On the beach he sees a lonely pine tree; a commemorative plaque is attached to its trunk and the names of two women – Matsukaze and Murasame - followed by a poem are inscribed there.
    The monk asks a fisherman for the history of the pine. The fisher recounts how, many centuries ago, the two sisters Matsukaze (Wind in the Pines) and Murasame (Autumn Rain), impoverished salt women, lived in a hut on the beach. They both loved Yukihira, a nobleman from the capital. After three years he was recalled to the capital where shortly after he died unexpectedly. The salt women were left behind, their love unfulfilled.
    The fisherman appeals to the monk for a prayer for the unsaved souls of the sisters. Together they pray to the Amida Buddha. The fisherman goes on his way, whereas the monk decides to stay here overnight. Remarking a salt house, the monk awaits its occupants at the door. The moon rises. He falls asleep.


    SALT
    Two salt women, hagridden by the exertions of salt manufacture and the memory of Yukihira, approach. One can see the evergreen pine tree on the beach and a bright moon its beams manifoldly refracted by the water of the women’s pails.


    NIGHT
    The monk wakes and enquires whether the women might provide lodging for the night, and seeing as the stranger is a monk they agree. A strong gust of wind calls to mind a poem by Yukihira. In tears and with growing agitation, they tell of the yearning for their beloved who lived with them here for three years before being summoned and subsequently dying. Hearing their names the monk realises the women are the ghosts of the two sisters. They implore him for a prayer so that their souls may at last find peace.


    DANCE
    Matsukaze fetches the hat and coat that Yukihira left with them as a pledge on departing. The recollection triggers ever more intense and confused emotions in her; she fantasises that the pine-tree on the beach is the loved one returned. Murasame endeavours to release Matsukaze from her derangement, then she too collapses in a mad ecstasy over the imagined reunion. The wailing of the sisters merges with the sounds of the wind and rain.


    DAWN
    The monk wakes on the same spot he first fell asleep. The salt-house and its inhabitants have vanished. He resumes his journey. On the beach stands the lone pine. The last drops of autumn rain slide from its needles and a breeze wafts through its limbs.