(The Flesh). Four rituals using the opera Ayamé by Kosaku Yamada
Premiere on February 23. Until April 7, 2019
In 1931, the Japanese composer Kóscak (Kosaku) Yamada, who studied in Berlin beginning in 1910, wrote the one-act opera Ayamé for Paris. Featuring the subtitle Opéra choréographique, this work, which oscillates between Debussy, Richard Strauss and Japanese sounds, is anything but ballet and deals with the intimate drama of the girl Ayamé who is forced to work as a prostitute to pay off the debts of her dead father and restore the honor of the family. When all efforts of her bridegroom to free her from the bordello fail the young couple is left with only one other way out, a traditional Japanese one.
We follow the question of Ayamé: who does our body belong to? At the beginning of the piece, Ayamé is sent the Tokaido road, the important trade route, at the end of which the bordello is located. Seemingly just another male fantasy in the history of opera. But Ayamé resists and demands the right of self-determination over her body and over her destiny. How much more can we today, nearly 90 years later, make our own decisions regarding our bodies which have long since become a product who value we continuously seek to optimize?
The production directed by Fabian Gerhardt (Iris, Affe, Der Schuss 2.6.1967 and most recently Die Weise von Liebe und Tod) uses the device of ritual, also in order to (in the words of Vincent Stefan) “work against the sanctimonious ratio in the modern era to the grotesque, the secretive, the incomprehensible and the absurd…” Markus Syperek – musician, composer and arranger for numerous opera houses, theaters and festivals has written the musical version. Like the opera Okichi, Ayamé was never staged in Europe as the world premiere performance planned in Paris for August 1931 was never realized. Thus Yamada was left, until today, with only the option of presenting Ayamé in the form of a concert suite, which he conducted with great success in the USA, Russia and Berlin (1937 with the Berlin Philharmonic).
Music Direction by Markus Syperek | Concept by Vincent Stefan | Directed by Fabian Gerhardt | Stage Design by Sabrina Rossetto | Costume Design by Rebekka Dornhege Reyes | Video by: Florian Japp, Vincent Stefan | Dramaturgy by Bernhard Glocksin | Keyboard Instruments: Markus Syperek | Violoncello: Lorraine Buzea | Saxophone: Ruth Velten
Featuring: Yuri Mizobuchi, Daniel Arnaldos, Remo Tobiaz