With sell-out, critically acclaimed performances in Tokyo and London, 2019 has been a fantastic year for THE鍵KEY! I would like to say a massive thank you and congratulations to everyone involved; It's been an incredible experience with so many exciting developments along the way. And a huge thank you from me and the team to our audiences and supporters too!
I'm excited to share a trailer video from the revised premiere at Hirakushi Denchu House and Atelier, Tokyo, May 2019 and a full length video of the UK premiere at 10 Tollgate Drive as part of Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival, London, August 2019. Due to the site-specific nature of THE鍵KEY, performances are different each time depending on the venue and context - so be sure to check out both videos and enjoy the varied versions!
Photos, reviews and more about those involved can be found on the event pages for each Tokyo and London performance respectively. We are in the process of creating a stand-alone website for THE鍵KEY where visitors will be able to view a variety of visual and audio content from the performances, London event and after-talks, read critical reviews and reflections and share comments and feedback in viewer forums. Watch this space for news of the site's launch, projected for early 2020.
I'm excited to announce that THE鍵KEY shall be making its UK debut at two London festivals this summer!
London Festival of Architecture
'Crossing boundaries. Peering into private lives'
Thursday 27th June, 6:30pm-9pm
Powell Tuck Associates Studio, 6 Stamford Brook Rd, London W6 0XH
Tickets can be bought here
Powell Tuck Associates presents a talk and taster performance evening to provide insights of THE鍵KEY.
An extract from the opera shall be performed and the panel will explore themes including how performing in a private house changes the experience of the audience and crosses the boundaries of public and private spaces.
Speakers include Bill Bankes-Jones (Artistic Director and founder of Tête a Tête Opera Festival), Angus Shepherd (a director of Powell Tuck Associates who shall host THE鍵KEY performances in his house in August) and myself. Further details can be found here.
Tête a Tête: The Opera Festival
Saturday 3rd August, 14:00-15:15 & 18:00-19:15
Sunday 4th August, 14:00-15:15 & 18:00-19:15
10 Tollgate Drive, SE21 7LS
Tickets are SOLD OUT(!) but a space on the waiting list can be reserved here
Collaborating with UK-based performers and staged in a British architect's private residence, the world of THE鍵KEY shall expand as we explore new possibilities and further explore the Western themes and influences inherent in this Anglo-Japanese work. The space THE鍵KEY is performed in is so integral to the work; audience members have told me they feel the house becomes a character itself. I'm very excited by the opportunities and challenges of working with our new 'character' 10 Tollgate Drive and the work's new context.
THE鍵KEY is an official event of the Japan-UK Season of Culture
Produced by The Kagi Project in partnership with Japan Foundation, Azuki Foundation/Mu Arts and Powell Tuck Associates (the designers and architects behind 10 Tollgate Drive).
Supported by Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture), Arts Council England, Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation and RWV Trust.
In collaboration with Southbank Sinfonia and Whole Hog Theatre.
A sudden heatwave, an earthquake mid-performance, roads closed due to a presidential visit...but that didn't stop us!
A massive thank you to all involved in making the 2019 Tokyo performances of THE鍵KEY a sell-out success: it was an absolute honour to work with you! Thank you to everyone who came to the performances; we received a wealth of positive feedback and it was a delight to engage with you and our guest speakers in our post-performance talks.
More photos, videos, write-ups and more to follow!
Watch this space for details on the UK leg of THE鍵KEY 2019 performances...
Photos by Shintaro Sumimoto
Tickets for all performances of THE鍵KEY have SOLD OUT! However, tickets may become available so do put your name on the WAITING LIST! Thank you to everyone who has shown interest in coming!
①2019年5月19日18時〜 2019/05/19 (sun): evening performance from 6pm 満席・WAITING LIST ONLY!
②2019年5月25日14時〜 2019/05/25 (sat): matinee performance from 2pm 満席・WAITING LIST ONLY!
③2019年5月26日14時〜 2019/05/26 (sun): matinee performance from 2pm 満席・WAITING LIST ONLY!
④2019年5月26日18時〜 2019/05/26 (sun): evening performance from 6pm 満席・WAITING LIST ONLY!
Venue: Denchu Hirakushi House and Atelier 2-20-3 Ueno-sakuragi, Taito-ku,Tokyo
チケット・All tickets: 4500円
主催｜「鍵」プロジェクト実行委員会/ Production: 'Kagi' Executive Committee
Supported by: Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture) and the Japan Arts Council (Japan Arts Fund)
協力｜岡山県井原市、上野桜木旧平櫛田中邸、NPO法人たいとう歴史都市研究会、一般社団法人谷中のおかって, Whole Hog Theatre
Cooperation: Ibara City, Okayama Prefecture, Ueno-Sakuragi Denchu Hirakushi House and Atelier, NPO Taito Cultural and Historical Society, Arts management group 'Yanaka no Okatte', Whole Hog Theatre.
THE鍵KEY: A new site-specific, dramatic musical work inspired by Junichiro Tanizaki’s ‘The Key’ (1956) by composer and director Francesca Le Lohé. Read more about the work here.
A massive thank you to Shun Onozawa for filming and editing this trailer of THE鍵KEY world premiere performance at Nakacho House, Tokyo, May 2018. A sound excerpt from THE鍵KEY can also be found here.
Take a glimpse into the mysterious, secretive world of this strange family, told through a unique mixture of music, drama and dance. We are working towards further performances in Tokyo and beyond next year, so watch this space for a chance to experience THE鍵KEY first hand (perhaps for a second time!)
Saturday 19th May 2018: the world premiere of THE鍵KEY at Nakacho House, Tokyo, Japan. Thank you to the fantastic performers, creative and production team, the premiere performances were truly successfull! The audience gave wonderful feedback, the performers worked incredibly hard (and enjoyed doing so!) and everyone wants to see further performances happen: in Tokyo and beyond!
Thank you again to all those who have supported THE鍵KEY project; the Kickstarter donators, Otomachi project, The Mutomai fund, the audience members, the advice-givers, friends and family - it is all massively appreciated.
Photos, recordings and more to come soon! And watch this space for further developments of THE鍵KEY!
Kickstarter campaign launched! Please take a look, share and even contribute if you can! Any donation is incredibly appreciated!
Flyers for the Tokyo premiere designed by Sonia Friel! Tickets can be reserved on the homepage.
Thursday 25th January, 1.10pm at the Helen Martin Studio, Warick Arts Centre: The fantastic George Barton (percussion) and Siwan Rhys (piano) shall be performing my piece 'Saida Portraits'. I'm delighted that they have decided to bring it to life once more: I originally wrote the piece for them in 2014 as part of the New Dots concert series which brought emerging composers and performers together to create exciting new contemporary performances. Their lunchtime concert promises to be a fascinating one, also featuring music by Reich, Skempton and John Luther Adams. www.gbsr.co.uk/concerts
Friday 25th August-Sunday 27th August, with the invaluable support of Naoya Yamashita and Takeshi Yoshida at Otomachi Arts Collective, I ran 3 days of R&D, including a test performance of 'THE鍵KEY' : a new site-specific, dramatic musical work (currently in progress) I am composing and directing.
It was such an incredibly exciting experience (and an honour!) to work with 12 inspirational and fantastic performers from diverse fields, to have the privilege to work once more with Alex Rutter (director of Whole Hog Theatre, working as choreographer on this project) and to have access to Tokyo University of the Arts (Senju Campus) and the beautiful venue, Nakacho House.
I have learnt far more than I can currently process from this R&D: Many things worked really well, some not at all, I came to realise my strengths and weaknesses, the amount of ideas coming from everyone involved and from the audience's feedback was dizzying and exciting-there seems to be around 100 different ways this project could progress and develop!
And that is what will happen next: progression and development. Ready for Tokyo performances in May 2018, aiming for UK performances soon after...Watch this space!
The amazing performers:
The Husband trio: Takashi Matsudaira (Baritone) Jin Rei (shakuhachi) Yukiko Siina (double bass)
The Wife trio: Akane Kudo (soprano) Atsumi Kojima (sho) Yuri Kubota (cello)
The Daughter trio: Yu Igarashi (mezzo-soprano/actress) Mikako Ogawa (kotsutsumi and shimedaiko: Japanese percussion) Kyouju Hiyakawa (violin)
Kimura, The Lover trio: Rikki Metsugi (dancer) Kumiko Shuto (Biwa) Hiroko Miyake (clarinet)
A busy first half of 2017 has led to a very, very much delayed News blogpost! Here's the basics:
January 2017: Music and soundscapes for Whole Hog Theatre's new adaptation of ''トリスタンとイゾルデ' (Tristan and Isolde), sponsored by Nelke Planning ( ネルケプランニング), produced by Gorch Brothers (ゴーチ ブラブラザーズ) and supported by The Daiwa Anglo Japanese Foundation Scholarship Programme, performed at the DDD Aoyama Theatre in Shibuya, Tokyo from January 12-15, 2017. Many thanks to Alexandra Rutter at WHT for asking me to collaborate; it was a fantastic experience and a joy to work with fellow composer Mark Choi on the project.
February 2017: ボナンで笙( Bonang de sho) for Makoto Nomura and 千住だじゃれ音楽祭 (Senju Dajare Onagaku improvisors group) and Shin Sakuma, dancer. Originally written for 笙 (sho), 5 bonang, melodicas (as many as possible) and free instrumentation. Premiered by Senju Dajare Ongaku at Tokyo Geidai University Kita Senju Campus, Tokyo, 19th February 2017. Illustrated score designed and created by Senju Dajare Ongaku member and artist, Takuya Kohiyama.
March 2017: Graduation from the Daiwa Scholarship Programme. I can't stress enough what an amazing experience the past 18 months with Daiwa have been, filled with incredible opportunities and wonderful people. I shall be enternally grateful and am filled with energy and dertimination for my next steps...
From April 2017: Development of a site-specific, chamber opera: 'The Key' (鍵). This has been a dream of mine for many years and now I am finally being bold and brave and developing my passion project! Performances shall be held in Tokyo in May 2018, with a view of also bringing it to the UK. Watch this space for more news on it's development!
Also in April, I began working as an Assistant Music Therapist with NPO Kokoro Talk Music; providing music therapy sessions to individuals and groups of all ages and abilities across the area of Setagaya-ku, Tokyo. I am very grateful to be a part of this NPO, to be gaining hands-on music therapy experience and to be learning from leaders in the field.
And also looking ahead; 'T&I' for E♭ clarinet and piano, commissioned by Paul Vowles, shall be performed in August 2017, Sherborne, Dorset, UK. More details to follow.
Francesca is a composer, flautist, teacher and community musician from the UK, based in Tokyo, Japan.