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Carolina Performing Arts Blog

CPA Executive Director Emil Kang on Curlew River

// Oct 30,2014

Dear Friends,
Arriving in Chapel Hill on November 6 & 7 is a performance that I have been looking forward to since its conception.

The 20th century English composer Benjamin Britten wrote Curlew River after watching a Noh theatre performance in Japan. Unmistakable in the music of Curlew River are the sounds and themes that Britten heard during his visit, and the original production paid homage to traditional Noh costuming and stage setting.

This new production, which we are proud to be co-producing alongside Barbican Centre in London, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York, and CalPerformances at UC Berkeley, is an immersive journey into the mind of a deeply troubled protagonist. Tenor Ian Bostridge is devastating in his role as the Madwoman, desperately searching for her lost son. Joining Bostridge on stage is an outstanding British cast, the Britten Sinfonia and Britten Sinfonia Voices.

Traditionally performed in churches, the aisle between the pews representing the boat where much of the piece takes place, Memorial Hall will be transformed to accommodate the incredible multi-media set-piece put together by director Netia Jones. Projections of birds in flight, rippling waters, and shadowy figures are all part of the intricately designed staging. The music is magnificently haunting, and I encourage you to watch this video for a preview of what you?ll see on stage.

We take great pride in being one of only a handful of US presenters of this work, and I?m positive that the performances on November 6 and 7 will be something that those in attendance will talk about for years to come. I look forward to sharing the experience with you.

All the best,

Emil Kang
Executive and Artistic Director
Carolina Performing Arts