Tenri Cultural Institute To Present Emily Brontë Mono-Opera

By Francisco Salazar

Tenri Cultural Institute has announced the world premiere of “Emily Brontë – Through Life and Death, A Chainless Soul,” a poetic mono-opera in one act based on selected poems of Emily Brontë by composer Akemi Naito.

The opera is set to make its world premiere on Friday, Jan. 5, 2018, followed by a second performance on Jan. 6. The work will honor the 200th Anniversary of the birth of Emily Brontë in 2018. The work is a collaboration with mezzo-soprano Jessica Bowers, pianist Marilyn Nonken, actor Robert Ian Mackenzie, and visual artist Toshihiro Sakuma., whose “Healing” exhibition will be on view. Each of the performances will also include a pre-performance reading of the seven poems by the actor Robert Ian Mackenzie.

Composer Naito, whose work has been featured all over the world noted, noted, “I wanted to express Emily Brontë herself in this work, using her poetry as the text. Because of the extraordinarily powerful inner voice that resonates in her poetry and the root of her creativity coming from deep within her spirit, I felt it would make a perfect libretto. I have felt a deep connection with her poetry for decades, and knowing that the year 2018 is the bicentennial of her birth, the idea of this composition seemed a natural way to celebrate her, and hopefully expand the audience and venue for new music.”