A true taste of the Far East

Tokaido Road is coming to Alwinton Church.
Tokaido Road is coming to Alwinton Church.

An exciting piece of musical-theatre based on a Japanese story is to be performed in Coquetdale.

The UK’s unique Western-Japanese music ensemble, Okeanos, will present Tokaido Road on Saturday, June 27.

Composed by Nicola LeFanu with a libretto by Nancy Gaffield, this 60-minute work is a composite of music, poetry, mime, dance and visual imagery.

It captures the adventurous journey of the Japanese artist Hiroshige from youth to old age through the timeless themes of travel, discovery, and art. The first half of the concert consists of traditional Japanese music for sho and koto, and two recent pieces, Dart (2009) and Fushi (Air) (2004) for oboe, sho and koto by Howard Skempton.

There will be video projections during the show, which starts at 7.30pm and organisers are assured that it will take place at Alwinton Church as scheduled.

It comes after the first two concerts of the summer season, featuring Sir Thomas Allen and Caroline Dowdle, followed by Kenneth Hamilton. had to be moved to alternative venues after part of the church ceiling collapsed.

For those interested in learning more about Japanese music, a free workshop is scheduled to take place in the church from 2pm to 3.30pm, on the day of the concert.

This family-friendly session will provide a chance to discover the sounds and stories of ancient Japanese instruments and their music.

To book your place, email grahamenysstacy@gmail.com or call 01669 640382.

The final concert of the season is on July 11, featuring Chris Stout, Catriona McKay and Tempest Flute Trio.