Work of the Week - Toshio Hosokawa: The Raven

Toshio Hosokawa’s new monodrama The Raven will receive its world premiere on 17 March 2012 at La Raffinerie, Brussels. Hosokawa will conduct The United Instruments of Lucilin and mezzo-soprano Charlotte Hellekant to whom the work is dedicated to.

Based on the narrative poem by Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven tells the story of a man visited by a raven after the death of his lover. To all the questions the man asks, the raven only answers, 'nevermore' and drifting through states of different emotions the narrator, still burdened with the loss of his beloved, finally lays down in the raven's shadow, his soul trapped and shall be lifted 'nevermore'.

When I read The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe, it reminded me of the Japanese No play. A view of the world in the No is not anthropocentric. Some of the main characters in the No are animals and plants, and some are unearthly spirits. Poe describes the process of the collapse of the modern rational world, as a consequence of an invasion of the world by a weird animal ‘raven’ which lives in the other world. I considered this poem as a story of No and expressed it in the form of monodrama with mezzo-soprano and ensemble, dedicated to Charlotte Hellekant and United Instruments of Lucilin. (Toshio Hosokawa)

Further performances of this production will take place on 27 July in Luxembourg and 25 October 2012 in Amsterdam.




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