Toshio Hosokawa

Our theatre’s main stage has never before hosted such a delicately poetic work as Matsukaze. It brings the convention of Japanese Noh theatre, with its slow pace, calmness, underdefining of situations, into the world of opera, but despite the space required by the plot setting, this is a chamber opera, and a short one. There are four soloists, a small chorus, not much text. The author, Toshio Hosokawa, based his work on a 15th-century Noh play about two sisters: Matsukaze, which means ‘wind in the pines’, and Murakame, which means ‘autumn rain’. Both of them went to the shore to ladle seawater and both fell in love with the same man: a fisherman called Yukihira. He gave them their names. He departed. They were left with longing and a memory appropriated by Matsukaze. They both died and were buried under a pine. That is the story suggested by this extraordinary production by Sasha Waltz, a legend of contemporary theatre, director and choreographer, who is extremely sensitive to music. As far as directing operas goes, she has developed her own style – choreographic opera – in which she blurs the boundaries between movement, visual elements, singing, lighting, the sound of instruments. She found a marvellous partner in Hosokawa. The soundscape of his childhood on the outskirts of Hiroshima was shaped by the murmur of the sea, winds and the splashing of the river; his mature years spent studying in Berlin added 21st-century avant-garde techniques. He says he composes as if he were calligraphing, which in Japanese culture means precision and artistry. The subtle music of Matsukaze encourages contemplation, while the dominating element of the stage design – a black net – is puzzling. Does not fate sometimes entwine our lives, as it did with Matsukaze and Murakame, in a net of unfulfilled desires, with no escape possible?



Dancers of Sasha Waltz & Guests
Vocalconsort Berlin
Orchestra of the Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera


  • Patron of Teatr Wielki - Polish National Opera

  • Partners of Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera

  • Media patrons of Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera

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