Sundin Music Hall, Hamline University, 1531 Hewitt Ave, St. Paul, MN
Legend has it that the Snow Witch, the spirit of winter incarnate, is the ghost of a woman who perished in a snowstorm. Although she appears as beautiful and delicate as the winter snow, her ephemeral beauty masks her ruthless nature. Inspired by the well-known Japanese folk tale, Yukionna recounts the heart-wrenching tragedy of a love torn between human desire and the cruelty of the elements.
Award-winning composer and harpsichordist Asako Hirabayashi and the renowned Steven Epp of The Moving Company and Theatre de la Jeune Lune re-imagine the legend of the Snow Witch in a true hybridization of Japanese and Western cultures. While the opera will utilize the traditional Western opera style and instruments, it artfully incorporates the Japanese legend with arias in Japanese and characteristic Japanese musicality. On May 31st, the opera will make its debut at Hamline University’s Sundin Music Hall for the Japan America Society of Minnesota’s spring concert event: Harukaze. This exclusive world-premiere event is surely not to be missed.
The opera features some of the Twin Cities’ finest chamber musicians conducted by Andrew Altenbach and will feature a breathtaking performance by soprano, Momoko Tanno.
Asako Hirabayashi is a fiscal year 2014 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature; and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.