Die Judith von Shimoda (WP)

2023 \ opera \ Werkstattbühne Bregenz Festival and Theater Akzent, Viennna

Composer Fabián Panisello Libretto Juan Lucas after the play 'Nyonin Aishi. Tōjin Okichi Monogatari' (The Sad Tale of a Woman, the story of Chink Okichi) by Yamamoto Yūzō (1929) in a posthumously released edit by Bertolt Brecht and Hella Wuolijoki Conductor Walter Kobéra Stage director Carmen C. Kruse Set, costume and video designer Susanne Brendel Initital concept development Philipp M. Krenn Light designer Norbert Chmel Sound director and live electronics Christina Bauer Concept and design of live elektronics Alexis Baskind Dramaturgs Florian Amort, Ksenija Zadravec Costume supervisor Anna Kreinecker Hair and Make-up Ulli Rauter
with Anna Davidson (Okichi), Alexander Kaimbacher (Saito), Megan Kahts (Ofuku / Clive), Martin Lechleitner (Tsurumatsu / Kito), Harald Hieronymus Hein (Henry Heusken / Akimura / 2. Stadtverordneter), Gan-ya Ben-gur Akselrod (Osai / Ray), Timothy Connor (Townsend Harris / 1. Stadtverordneter), Karl Huml (Fürst Isa, Alter Mann, Sänger) and Bibiane Zimba (Okichi (Video)) Chorus Wiener Kammerchor /Chorleitung: Bernhard Jaretz) Orchestra amadeus ensemble wien

Berthold Brecht's 1940 theatre play is an edit of a Japanese text and deals with abuse of power and the instrumentalization of an individual for personal benefits.
The original piece, written in 1923 by Yamamoto Yūzō, tells the story of the first American consul entering the Japanese town of Shimoda in 1856 and criticizing that he isn't getting any local servants. As then, moreover, his negotiations for a planned trade agreement are not going well, he threatens to bombard the city. Eventually, the geisha Okichi agrees to serve the consul in order to save her home town. For her being in the company of a foreigner, however, she is, despite her marriage to a Japanese man, outlawed by society. By referring to the biblical character Judith, Brecht emphasizes society's responsibility for Okichi’s fate.

A coproduction between Bregenz Festival and Neue Oper Wien.

Images © Anja Köhler, text: Bregenzer Festspiele (shortened)



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