Running time: 2 hrs with intermission

The Japan Arts Connection Lab presents a rare opportunity to see authentic Noh, the most traditional of Japan’s classical arts and the world’s longest-running continuous form of theatre, dating back to the 1300s.  

Munenori Takeda, one of Japan's most talented Noh masters, joined by a full Noh troupe belonging to Japan’s pre-eminent 600-year-old Kanze school, will perform "Tomoe". Part of the Japanese classical epic, The Tale of the Heike, "Tomoe" tells the moving story of the famous 12th-century woman warrior, Tomoe Gozen, and her ill-fated love for her master, Yoshinaka. Seattle’s own Garrett Fisher, inspired by the beauty of Noh, will perform his opera, “Yoshinaka,” based on “Tomoe” and sung in Japanese and English verse. 

Special date to note:
Sep 28 - Special post-performance party will occur in the Bullitt Cabaret from 4–5pm. Suggested donation $10 per person (pay at the door).

For more information about the performance, visit www.nohandopera.com. 

Japan World Expo Logo

Funding also provided by the Toshiba International Foundation. Support provided by the Consulate General General of Japan in Seattle and the Japanese Garden Advisory Council. Special sponsorship by Five Senses, Inc.

TOMOE

Jay Rubin (Presenter, Professor Emeritus, Harvard University)

Munenori Takeda ...................................................................Shite-kata, Kanze School of Noh
Munekazu Takeda...................................................................Shite-kata, Kanze School of Noh
Tomoyuki Takeda....................................................................Shite-kata, Kanze School of Noh
Fumiyuki Takeda.....................................................................Shite-kata, Kanze School of Noh
Yoshiteru Takeda....................................................................Shite-kata, Kanze School of Noh
Tomotaka Fukuoh..................................................................Waki-kata, Fukuoh School of Noh
Mitsuhiko Sumikoma......................................Small hand drum, Kou School of Noh Kotsuzumi
Yosuke Kamei.........................................Large hand drum, Kadono School of Noh Ootsuzumi
Takahiro Fujita..............................................................Flute player, Issou School of Noh Flute

Shite-kata means main performer, Waki-kata means supporting performer.

Noh_troupe

YOSHINAKA

Garrett Fisher..............................................................................................................Composer
Amy Schrader, Garrett Fisher, and Matsuo Basho..........................................................Libretto
Tikka Sears.....................................................................................................................Director
Christy Fisher......................................................................................................Choreographer
Ken Cerniglia..............................................................................................................Dramaturg

CAST AND MUSICIANS

José Luis Muñoz...........................................................................................................The Poet
Matthew Richardson...................................................................................................Yoshinaka
Jordan McClellan..............................................................................................................Tomoe
Munenori Takeda.............................................................................................................Kannon
Christy Fisher and Sheri Brown.......................................................Shadow and Light (Dancers)
Garrett Fisher................................................................................................................Keyboard
Greg Bagley.........................................................................................................................Bass
Stanley Shikuma......................................................................................................Taiko Drums
Nicole Truesdell..............................................................................................Indian Harmonium

CREATIVE

Manuel Castro.........................................................................................................Set Designer
Melissa Y. Hamasaki...........................................................................................Stage Manager
Evan Merryman Ritter......................................................................................Lighting Designer
Ali Rose Panzarella........................................................................................Costume Designer
Michi Murayama............................................................................................................Producer
Junko Goodyear and Akemi Sagawa..........................................................Executive Producers

Munenori TakedaMunenori Takeda (Singer / Dancer) Munenori was born into a family of pre-eminent Noh actors belonging to the Kanze School, which traces its roots to the 1300s. He first performed on the Noh stage at the age of two. His father, grandfather, and several uncles are all "Living National Treasures" in Japan. Munenori has performed in Beijing, Moscow, and Milan, and is widely recognized as one of the most talented young Noh performers in Japan today. 

 

Garrett FisherGarrett Fisher (Composer) With over 13 full­length works to his name, Seattle-based composer Garrett combines music, theater, and a diverse array of global influences into what the New York Times described as “exotic and enticing.” Based on a collaborative process that allows performers their own interpretations, his pieces cohesively integrate a diversity of influences that defy any specific genre or tradition. Garrett’s immersive operas, praised by such sources as the Wall Street Journal (“spare yet gripping”), Seattle Times (“This is, in short, ravishing stuff”), and Gramophone (“touches of pure dramatic genius”), have been presented in Seattle, New York, and abroad, and produced by Beth Morrison Projects (NYC). Garrett founded the Fisher Ensemble in 1994. 

Tikka SearsTikka Sears (Director) Tikka is a Seattle based theater director, performer, and teaching artist. She is co-founder and artistic director of Memory War Theater. Tikka spent two years in Indonesia as a Fulbright Artist-in-Residence and has been studying, performing and teaching Indonesian arts for 15 years. Tikka is the co-founder and co-director of the Interactive Theater As Pedagogy Project at the University of Washington Center for Teaching and Learning. Tikka’s directing work has appeared at On the Boards, Intiman (Rough Eagles), Central District Forum for Arts and Ideas, Velocity, Bumbershoot, Ethnic Cultural Theatre, JakArt International Festival and other venues. Sears was part of the affiliate artist working group and performed in the world premiere of the Ramayana at ACT Theatre in 2012. 

Jose Luis MunozJosé Luis Muñoz (The Poet) José Luis, Mexican-American countertenor, was described by the San Francisco Bay Times as, “amazing, powerful expression” for his work in the role, El Alma, which he created in Carla Lucero’s world premiere opera Juana.  This past spring he made his debut in Cologne, Germany singing Kakitsubata with The E.O.S. Opera. This October he will be featured in Seattle’s Queen City Musicians Coffin Break singing Purcell’s Oedipus Rex. His works in the Pacific Northwest include under the direction of Stephen Stubbs in Francesca Caccini’s La Liberazione di Ruggiero dall’Isola d’Alcina, as well as Garrett Fisher’s opera Magda G The Film. He made his recital debut with the Seattle Early Music Guild in 2013. He has also been a soloist in oratorio works with the Federal Way Symphony, Epiphany Episcopal, and The Bellingham Chamber Chorale. 

Matthew RichardsonMatthew Richardson (Yoshinaka) Matthew was born in Denver, CO and raised in Dubuque, IA. Since graduating from the Eastman School of Music, he has performed supporting and lead roles with companies across the US. In addition to Matthew’s continuing involvement with the Fisher Ensemble, his recent engagements include Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Count Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Scaramuccio in Ariadne auf Naxos, and the tenor soloist in Carmina Burana, Britten’s Canticle III, and Gounod’s Messe solonnelle de Sainte-Cécile. He will be singing the role of Nanki-Poo in The Mikado with Tacoma Opera.
 

Jordan McClellanJordan McClellan (Tomoe) Mezzo-Soprano Jordan made her debut in the Tacoma Opera as Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia in February 2014. Other important debuts for the 2014-15 season are Ceneretola in Skagit Opera’s Cenerentola, 2nd Lady in Mozart’s Magic Flute at Tacoma Opera, as well as Pitti-Sing in the Mikado, and Nancy in Vashon Opera’s Albert Herring. In 2013, she was accepted by Maestro Alberto Zedda for his Accademia Rossiniana program in Pesaro, Italy, and participated in Cincinnati Conservatory’s program as Berta in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and was also awarded a full scholarship to attend Castleton music festival, founded by Maestro Lorin Maazel. Jordan is a recent graduate of San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and studies with Mezzo-Soprano Catherine Cook. She made her professional debut with Kitsap Opera in the role of Suzuki in Madama Butterfly in 2011, and sang the role of Hansel in Hansel and Gretel for a three-month tour with Portland Opera.  

Christy FisherChristy Fisher (Choreographer, Dancer / Shadow and Light) Christy has collaborated with The Fisher Ensemble since 1994, her work described by  The New York Times as “fierce and urgent” and by The Seattle Times as having “movement precision both elastic and talon sharp”.  Other noted collaborators include composers Amy Denio and Susie Kozawa; visual artist, Kristin Tollefson and choreographers Sheri Brown and Sharon Mansur.  Christy has presented work internationally and received grants from the Seattle Mayors Office of Arts and Culture, 4Culture, and  Allied Arts Foundation. She holds a B.A. in Dance from Connecticut College and a C.M.A. from the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies (NYC).  

Sheri BrownSheri Brown (Dancer / Shadow and Light) Sheri’s dance investigates doorways of inner existence through the Japanese dance-theater art form of Butoh. Artistic Director of DAIPANbutoh Collective since its founding in 2009, she danced with the P.A.N. for seven years, earned the Dokkebi Award in the Overseas Korean Art Festival, toured with Katsura Kan in 2010 and is a member of Diego Pinon’s North American Ensemble. As a solo artist, Sheri pursues catalytic coexistence of dance, science, culture, evolution and, ultimately, peace. She is the recipient of the Artist Trust GAP award and the 4Culture Conductive Garboil Grant as well as other awards of recognition for DAIPANbutoh.  

Noh_Greg_BagleyGreg Bagley (Bass) Greg is a freelance bassist in the Seattle area and has worked with the Fisher Ensemble since 2008, adapting a wide range of musical styles and techniques to his 6-string acoustic bass. Greg studied music at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle and has played with a number of musical theatre groups in the area, including productions of RENT, Curtains, and Guys and Dolls (Tacoma Musical Playhouse), Neitzsche! The Musical (RK Productions), Rocky Horror (UW & ArtsWest), Reefer Madness (Seattle Repertory Theatre, Bumbershoot, and Hempfest), Dr. Horrible (Balagan and ACT), Lovetanic and Goin' Steady (Wing-It), and Joseph & the Technicolor Dreamcoat (2nd Story Rep).  

Stan ShikumaStan Shikuma (Taiko Drum) Stan has been playing taiko since 1981. He performs with Seattle Kokon Taiko, directs Kaze Daiko (a taiko youth group), and serves on the Board of the Taiko Community Alliance, sponsor of the North American Taiko Conference. As a taiko performer, composer and percussionist, he has worked on new opera, live accompaniment to Japanese silent films, puppet theater, a PlayStation game soundtrack, an educational CD-ROM, Butoh dance, and avant-garde performance pieces. He has authored several articles on taiko history, teaching, and performance and presents lecture-demonstrations on taiko in North America.
 

Nicole TruesdellNicole Truesdell (Indian Harmonium) Nicole is a pianist and composer residing in Seattle. She is thrilled and honored to work with Garrett Fisher and the Fisher Ensemble on Yoshinaka. Nicole’s recent work includes a theatrical production of Erik Satie’s Sports et Divertissements for the Fisher Ensemble concert series. She also regularly plays in small ensembles and does piano accompaniment. Nicole’s compositional work includes scoring for video games, scoring for dance choreography and compositions for small ensemble as well as for voice and solo piano works. Nicole holds a music degree from Cornish College of the Arts.
 

Melissa Y. HamasakiMelissa Y. Hamasaki (Stage Manager) Melissa is pleased to join the cast and creative team for this production. Favorite credits include Ramayana, The Women (ACT), All My Sons (Intiman), The Seagull (The Seagull Project) and Memphis (5th Avenue Theatre). This winter, she will return to The Seagull Project for their production of The Three Sisters. Locally, she has also worked with Shadow and Light Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, the Seattle Opera, the Pacific Northwest Ballet, and the UW School of Drama. Training: Allen Lee Hughes Stage Management Fellow at Arena Stage, Washington, DC; Technical Apprentice, Santa Fe Opera, NM.
 

Manuel CastroManuel Castro (Set Designer) Manuel is a Seattle-based glass blower and theater artist. He is the lead writer and designer for Memory War Theater. His theater design work has appeared at On the Boards, Bumbershoot, Ethnic Cultural Theater, Barnstorm Festival, JakArt International Festival and others. Manuel’s first introduction to glassblowing was in 1997 at Pratt Fine Arts Center in Seattle. He worked as part of the Manifesto glass team, one of the premiere glass studios in Seattle, and was part of Italian Maestro Lino Tagliapietra’s Seattle glass blowing team from 2001-2009. He has been a guest artist at and frequently works at the Tacoma Museum of Glass as well as for many other Seattle glass studios and artists.

Evan Merryman RitterEvan Merryman Ritter (Lighting Designer) Evan is currently working on The Magic Flute (Mozart) at Tacoma Opera, a new creation by DIAVOLO titled CUBICLE, and The Lighthouse (Davies) with Vespertine Opera. He has recently traveled to Wolfsburg, Germany to present the new DIAVOLO trilogy L’Espace du Temps (co-Design) at the MOVIMENTOS Festival 2014. Also has recently designed Madame Butterfly at Tacoma Opera. Evan is alumni of California Institute of the Arts (CALARTS) as well as the University of Washington and has lived in Seattle for eight years so far.
 

Ali Rose PenzarellaAli Rose Penzarella (Costume Designer) Ali Rose is currently working on Dead Body a film produced by Diving Bell Productions, a show with Karin Stevens Dance and "Kithkin and WET" at Schmitz Park. She holds an MFA from University of Washington, and has also completed studies in ART and Philosophy at John Cabot University Rome, Italy, and Munich International School, Germany. Her work at the UW includes Wilsom Milam’s Beggars Opera, Jeffrey Frace's 1x6xWest, Andrew McGinn’s Film Just a TasteLandscape of the Body, two MFA Dance Collaborations Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Romeo and Juliet. Also she worked for Arts on the Waterfront’s Waiting for Godot, Langston Hughes Performing Arts Centre's Summer Musical in 2012, Oimmedam at the University of Oregon, and Marat/Sade for ASW in Poland, and Hailing from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. 

Michi MurayamaMichi Murayama (Producer) Early in her career, Michi left Tokyo's music and theater scene for New Orleans, where she earned a BA in Theater and English from LSU. Since moving to Seattle in the late 90s, she has worked as a producer and director on programs for Japanese TV networks including NHK, Fuji TV, TBS, NTV, TV Asahi, and TV Tokyo. Specializing in documentaries, she has worked on location all over the US and Canada, England, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and Japan. Michi has won two major professional awards: the Silver Award for Humanity in Documentary from the New York Festival in 2004, and the Child Welfare Cultural Award from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in 2010.  She also directs, produces, and supervises commercials and corporate videos targeting the Japanese market. 

Junko GoodyearJunko Goodyear  (Executive Producer) Junko is currently the chairman of Five Senses, Inc. She is a highly experienced media and event producer with over 20 years’ experience organizing and overseeing large scale entertainment projects world-wide, such as Takarazuka Theater Company’s Oversea Performance projects, The Montreal Jazz Festival 2001 (Canada), and Shangrila III 2007 (Japan).  In addition, Junko is also a well known publishing producer; her recent success is Japan’s runaway national best-selling business book, Change Just 1% of Your Work Techniques to Put Yourself Against 99% of the Rest (2012/Japanese book) with more than 400,000 copies sold. 

Akemi SagawaAkemi Sagawa  (Executive Producer) A long-time resident of Seattle, Akemi serves as a Board Member at the Japan America Society of Washington State. She was President of Open Interface North America, a Seattle-based Bluetooth software firm which was acquired by Qualcomm. Prior to that, she held leadership positions in product marketing for Microsoft, having been part of the team that launched Windows in Japan and localizing the product across Asia. She is an aficionado of Japanese arts and crafts. She has a teacher's certificate of Sogetsu Ikebana flower arrangement and is also a dedicated Urasenke School tea ceremony student at East West Chanoyu Center. 

CREW

Michael Cornforth............................................Central Heating Lab Technician/Sound Engineer
Andrew Willhelm..........................................................................................................Electrician
Jeremiah Foglesong............................................................................................Deck Carpenter

Noh and Opera project worldwide production/sponsorship: Five Senses, Inc.

The Japan Arts Connection Lab (JACLab) aims to pass on the invaluable qualities found in Japan's master arts and crafts to future generations. The classical arts of Japan embody aesthetic values that are uniquely Japanese and yet universally moving. Developed over many centuries through unbroken lines of master-apprentice training, these artistic traditions remain highly relevant for today's communities.

Through its programs and services, JACLab aims to construct and inform a community that can learn, appreciate, master, and ultimately carry on the skills, artistry, and knowledge embodied in Japan's heritage arts. 

Find out more about JACLab on their website: www.jaclab.org.

Titles, dates, ticket pricing, and venues subject to change.