Madama Butterfly

Madama Butterfly
28 Feb '23 to 01 Mar '23
Q Theatre Company (Tokyo) / Theater Neumarkt (Zürich) / Satoko Ichihara

In her latest work, young Japanese director and writer Satoko Ichihara takes Puccini's opera Madama Butterfly as a starting point to reflect on the distorted Western view of Japanese and Asian women. The opera - about a young geisha who becomes pregnant by an American officer and takes her own life when he leaves her and remarries - was written 100 years ago ago, but the prejudices have not changed in the meantime. Whereas Puccini's opera shows the Western man's view of the Japanese woman, Ichihara reverses this in her Madama Butterfly. She reworks the opera into a story about the Western man through the eyes of a Japanese woman.

Festival Brandhaarden

Run time 100 minutes
Genre Theatre
Language English and Japanese
Surtitles Dutch and English

Satoko Ichihara


Since Satoko Ichihara debuted in 2011 with the performance Insects, her work has been closely followed worldwide. Among others, she was a guest at the Aichi Triennial, one of Japan's biggest international arts festivals. But the Japanese director and writer is not only getting recognition at home. Several programmers in Europe also knocked on her door, such as for the prestigious Theater der Welt festival in Germany and Theater Neumarkt in Zurich.
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Satoko Ichihara is a Japanese writer and theatre director. Born in 1988, she studied at J.F. Oberlin University in Tokyo. Since 2011, she has led the theatre company Company Q. She writes and directs plays that deal with human behaviour, the physiology of the body and the discomfort surrounding these issues. In doing so, she invariably deploys her unique sense of language and bodily sensitivity. She won the Aichi Arts Foundation (AAF) Drama Award in 2011 and the 64th Kishida Kunio Drama Award in 2019. In 2021, her first novel, Geisha Hunter, was published in Japan. Also in 2021, she became artistic director of KIAC - Kinoskai International Arts Center.

Satoko Ichihara about Madama Butterfly

I’m only aware of being Japanese when I’m outside of Japan. Then I feel that I have to live up to the expectations that Western people have of me. I felt like a lot of power and stereotypes were imposed on me by White people. I’ve always felt tested. That I’m not good enough.

1 MAR - Artist Talk

A look behind the scenes and conversations with the people behind the scenes make the performance visit even more interesting. That is why ITA Academy organises a series of Artist Talks during Brandhaarden: in-depth discussions with inspiring makers about their work and working methods, motives, sources of inspiration and fascinations. Artist Talks take place after a performance by the relevant maker and offer depth to look at the work in a broader context.

On March 1, moderator Carolien Borgers will engage in a conversation with Satoko Ichihara.

Registration is free (and required) via the link below

Credits


text and direction Satoko Ichihara
dramaturgy Tine Milz
with Kyōko Takenaka, Yan Balistoy, Sascha Ö. Soydan, Brandy Butler
set design and costumes Stefan Britze
video Juan Ferrari
interpreter Kanoko Tamura
translation Aya Ogawa
assistant director Sarah Calörtscher
set assistant Umaj Barth
video intern/animations Sara Bissen
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production manager Stéphane Noël (Material ise) on behalf of Neu markt (Zurich), Makiko Yamazato for Q Theatre Company (Tokyo), Theatre Commons Tokyo
a co-production of Neumarkt, Zürcher Theater Spektakel and Q Theatre Company (Tokyo)
supported by Kinosaki International Arts Center (Toyooka), Arts Council Tokyo / Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture
framework financing Satoko Ichihara is supported by The Saison Foundation (Tokyo)

Female Voices

Brandhaarden

How does the female voice sound when concentrated in time and place at a festival? During the 11th edition of international theatre festival Brandhaarden, six female directors confront plays and themes from the classical repertoire, in which female characters play leading roles. Brandhaarden: Female Voices takes place from Wednesday 22 February to Saturday 4 March and features performances by Elsa-Sophie Jach, Eline Arbo, Satoko Ichihara, Carme Portaceli, Hanane Hajj Ali and Ewelina Marciniak.

Previous editions have spotlighted directors such as Katie Mitchell, Milo Rau and Rimini Protokoll, writer Édouard Louis, the Southern European region (Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece) and city theatres such as Münchner Kammerspiele, Volksbühne Berlin and Peter Brooks Théâtre Bouffes du Nord.

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28 Feb '23 to 01 Mar '23
In her latest work, young Japanese director and writer Satoko Ichihara takes on Puccini's opera Madama Butterfly.