the cmrc blog
Posted on 7 December 2015
My interest in Japanese theatre began when I saw Benjamin Britten’s Curlew River on TV in the late 1960s. I was a big fan of Britten, though not so much of the operas. But when I encountered his Japanese influenced ‘parable opera’ – set in a Suffolk church but adopting masks and stylised gestures from Noh theatre – I was very excited. At the time I knew nothing about Japan or its musical traditions. I was working at Highgate Public Library, though, and they had books about Noh and Kabuki which I studied. It was a few years later, at university, when I first got to hear genuine Noh music, and later still when I first saw a Noh performance (in Brighton of all places).