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Noh Theater Discussion at the Japanese Embassy

Noh Demonstration

July 29th, 2015

On this Sunday the Japanese Embassy welcomed a Noh performance and discussion within the embassy walls, where the famous Noh Performer Ryoko Aoki was present from the Faculty of Music at the Tokyo National University of the Arts, specializing in Noh Theatre. The musician took part in many Noh productions and cooperated with composers as a Noh singer, controversially in a field where Noh Theatre is mainly controlled by men. The artist has notably travelled a lot in numerous countries in order to perform her art, whilst currently staying and performing in Europe on tour at the moment. She previously has played in Spain, France, England and the USA, and also worked with Toshio Hosokawa and Peter Eötvös. 

Aoki was accompanied by Frederic Wake-Walker, the artistic Director of Mahogany Opera Group. Wake-Walker has recently worked in La Finta Giardiniera at the Glyndebourne Festival and Gruber’s Gloria, as well as acting director for La Monnaie Brussels and even the Opera de Oviedo or Opera North.

Both artists were present this Sunday at the Japanese Embassy, along with the presence of Ambassador Nakane in order to perform and discuss the Noh Theater, one of the oldest and most traditional theaters in the world at the UNESCO humankind patrimony. Last night’s event began by a welcoming speech opened by Takeshi Nakane and was followed by a presentation on the new attempts on Noh, as well as a contemporary PowerPoint presentation on the perspectives of the future of the theatre itself .These then were followed by three different adaptations of miss Aoki and the interpretations/comments coming from Mr. Wake-walker himself.  After this, a discussion with the audience then took place concerning opinions and thoughts of the performance. Ultimately, the occasion served as a great opportunity to learn about a theater which has stood for centuries, but still remains likely as an unknown form of mysterious theatrical performance in most Western countries. Finally, Ambassador Nakane then thanked the performer gratefully with a wreath of flowers, a true sign of sincere appreciation. 

Special Thanks to:

Iwabuchi Kei, Embassy of Japan

Ryoko Aoki

Frederic Wake-Walker


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