Starts 7.30 pm, Admission free
We are sorry, but the concert is booked out!
Member of the Ensemble „Koden no kai“
TAKEMOTO Chitosedayû - Jôruri Speech Song
TOYOZAWA Tomisuke - Shamisen Lute
Sesshû Gappô ga Tsuji - Gappô at the crossroads, a piece of medieval tradition from old Japan
In addition to Nô und Kabuki, Bunraku puppet theatre, which developed toward the end of the 17th century in Ôsaka, is regarded as one of the classical performing arts of Japan. Its unusual puppet shows fascinate the audience whereby three players each perform with puppets that are up to 120 cm tall. However, essentially Bunraku is a highly expressive musical drama that is performed by an individual lyrical chanter (Tayû) and a musician playing a three-stringed Shamisen lute.
The appeal of Jôruri (Gidayû-bushi), so called elocution performance art, lies within how the singer/reciter presents the dramatic chants of the numerous performing characters and use extraordinarily varying tones of voice to create empathy and mirror the human feelings and emotions performed from different perspectives. The Shamisen players support him with a wide range of very different instrumental sounds. In Japan this sort of performance is also known as Sujôruri, i.e., ‘purely musical’ and is presented without puppets.
In this form of performance the chanter TAKEMOTO Chitosedayû and the lute player TOYOZAWA Tomisuke, two established musicians from the National Bunraku-Theaters Ôsaka and members of the ensemble Koden no kai, will perform in their guest performance in Germany this year the main scenes from the historical drama Sesshû Gappô ga Tsuji (Gappô from the province Sesshû and daughter Otsuji).
This famous piece from the year 1773 is set in a feudal age and deals with Otsuji alias Tamate-gozen, a young woman who marries into a noble house, and falls in love against all conventions with one of her step sons who is about the same age (Phaedra motive). However, this scandalous behavior is only a camouflage for her real intentions, which she secretly pursues with superhuman discipline and single-minded ambition. And thus the surprise, and indeed the horror, is great when she finally fulfills what is completely in accordance with Confucian and Buddhist warrior class ethics of duty: to sacrifice her own life. That Gappô, the former Samurai and completely unbeknownst to him, helps her by fatally wounding the daughter with his old sword, intensifies the tragedy of events. The young woman thinks it is only through her death, that she can bring peace to the murderous conflict between the two stepsons and the resolve the succession problem, and in turn be able to secure the continued existence of the royal lineage.
German subtitles will be available throughout the Jôruri-narrative and will help the audience to better understand the complicated storyline performed in Japanese. Viewers can look forward to an exciting and emotionally moving offering of a highly dramatic musical form of art that has been performing in Japan for more than 300 years, and even today it is performed in a completely authentic manner.
Supported by the DJG Berlin.
Under the patronage of the Embassy of Japan in Germany.
With the kind support of
Mitsubishi International Ltd. and Toyota Deutschland Ltd.
23rd June at 7pm in Cologne (Japanisches Kulturinstitut (The Japan Foundation), Universitätsstraße 98, 50674 Köln)
25. June at 7 pm in Bayreuth (BlackBox in der Stadtbibliothek, Richard-Wagner-Str. 21, 95444 Bayreuth)