Yashaga-Ike (Demon Pond) (2001)

In Text on November 30, 2009 at 10:42 am

I composed ‘Yashaga-Ike’ for a soprano, baritone, mixed chorus and orchestra in 2001. Based on the Play by Kyoka Izumi, its origin is the traditional fairy-tale of Yashagaike, the Dragon Princess.

Plot: Japan in 1933. A school teacher Gakuen Yamasawa journeys to a drought-stricken village in search of a missing friend, Akira Hagiwara. He asks for food from the beautiful Yuri and she asks of him a story in payment. When he speaks about his friend, he realizes that his friend is her husband.

Akira has accepted a job as the keeper of the village bell – if the bell is not struck thrice daily the Dragon God imprisoned within the nearby Demon Pond will escape causing the pond to overflow and flood the village. Akira thinks this is superstition nonsense but has stayed because of Yuri.

Meanwhile inside the Pond, the Dragon God’s current embodiment, the Princess Shirayuki, has received a marriage invitation from the prince of another pond and desires to leave so she can marry, but cannot because of the magic of the bell.

Her chance comes when the villagers decide to sacrifice someone to stop the drought and choose Yuri.

The excerpts from the performance [16:27] mp3 Just a moment


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