Opera Philadelphia


The Raven

The Raven

Music by Toshio Hosokawa
Libretto by Edgar Allan Poe
New Production
Part of Festival O22

Edgar Allan Poe's haunting poems inspire a two-part evening of immersive theater on the stage of the Merriam, the centerpiece of which is Toshio Hosokawa’s The Raven. The classic elegy on grief transforms into a chilling monodrama for mezzo-soprano and 12-piece chamber orchestra, inspired by the supernatural elements of Noh theater. Hosokawa’s atmospheric music meets a minimalist approach by director Aria Umezawa, performed by Kristen Choi; as the music skitters and swoops, you are transported into a world of shifting realities and the inescapable nature of anguish.

MapMiller Theater

Wed, Sep 21 7:00 p.m.
Sat, Sep 24 7:00 p.m.
Thu, Sep 29 7:00 p.m.
Sat, Oct 1 7:00 p.m.

Approximately 90 minutes with no intermission

Production support provided by the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

Cast & Creative Team

Eiki Isomura
Eiki Isomura *Conductor
Aria Umezawa
Aria Umezawa *Director
Kristen Choi
Kristen ChoiNarrator
Toshio Hosokawa

The Composer

Toshio Hosokawa

“I am searching for a new form of Japanese spiritual culture and music, one through which I can remain true to myself as well as to my origins. We need to examine the Western world again, more carefully, in order to see ourselves objectively and to truly get to know ourselves.” 

Toshio Hosokawa, Japan’s pre-eminent living composer, creates his distinctive musical language from the fascinating relationship between Western avant garde art and traditional Japanese culture. His music is strongly connected to the aesthetic and spiritual roots of the Japanese arts (such as calligraphy), as well as to those of Japanese court music (such as Gagaku). He gives musical expression to notions of beauty rooted in transience: “We hear the individual notes and appreciate, at the same time, the process of how the notes are born and then die: a sound landscape of continual ‘becoming’ that is animated in itself.” Read more>>

Chat with Guest Services