For the climax of Japan 2001, the national festival of Japanese culture that began in May 2001, the ADC Theatre in Cambridge is staging a production of the composer Alexander Goehr's Eastern masterpiece, Kantan and Damask Drum for three nights from 6 - 9 March 2002.

Richard Baker, Kettle's Yard Musician-in-Residence and Fellow of Trinity Hall college, is Musical Director and leads a cast and crew of music professionals and students from the University. A workshop led by Alexander Goehr on Saturday 8 March will explore the bridge between the music and the theatre in Kantan and Damask Drum. Beginning with an introduction to Noh theatre, Goehr's original inspiration for the composition, the composer will explain how he used its influence in the opera. Sarah Chew, the Theatrical Director and Set Designer, will describe her approach to the opera for this production.

The piece is Goehr's most recent musico-dramatic composition and is a triptych comprising two one-act Noh-inspired operettas with a short Kyogen-inspired humorous interlude between them. The texts for Kantan and Damask Drum are by the composer, in the style of the 15th century Japanese Noh Theatre writer Zeami.

Goehr has had an enduring fascination with the unique Japanese blend of music and drama, and here he superbly illustrates these cautionary tales about the presumptions of youth and the indignities visited on the aged with his powerful and contemporary scoring.

Commissioned by Theater Dortmund in Frankfurt in 1999, this work premi

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