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Music Text

Libretto by Sam Houston Brock after the Noh play by Kanami Kiyotsugu (E)

Scoring

S,M,T,BBar,2dancers(male and female)
1.1.0.0-0.0.0.0-perc(1):timp/gong/tgl/SD/wdbl/cym(on stand)/tpl.bls-
harp-0.0.1.1.0

Abbreviations (PDF)

World Premiere
4/7/1957
Kaufmann Concert Hall, New York, New York
Sanae Kawaguchi, director
Conductor: Sheldon Soffer
Company: Music in Our Time

Roles

SOTOBA KOMACHI Soprano
1st PRIEST Bass Baritone
2nd PRIEST Tenor
CAPTAIN SHII-NO-SHOSHO Dancer (male)
THE YOUNG KOMACHI Dancer (female)
CHORUS Mezzo Soprano
Time and Place

Any time period, anyplace

Synopsis

Ono no Komachi, once a beautiful and heartless poet, reflects on her past and on her present shame and misery, evoking her younger self as a vision. Thinking she is a beggar, two priests try to instruct and admonish her, but she remains unmoved, and she reveals her true identity.  The chorus tells the story of a Captain who was madly in love with the young Komachi. The cruel and captivating beauty demanded that he visit her in his chariot for a hundred nights before he could enjoy a rendezvous with her. He died just before his task was completed.  The Captain's love and anger now possess Komachi's soul and have left her a miserable, withered old woman. The priests pray for her.

Moods

Dramatic, Poetic, Romantic

Subjects

Magic/Mystery, Relationships




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