Sound Art Alumnus Chatori Shimizu ’16 Joins Ensemble of New Opera at London's Royal Opera House

Carlos Barragán
June 22, 2023

Sound Art alumnus Chatori Shimizu ’16 will be part of the ensemble for Woman at Point Zero, a new multimedia opera premiering at London's Royal Opera House from June 28–30, 2023. The three-night production is brought to life by LOD muziektheater, a Ghent-based production company for opera and musical theatre.

The opera is an adaptation of the 1975 novel Woman at Point Zero written by Egyptian feminist writer Nawal El Saadawi. It tells the story of Fatma, an imprisoned feminist and activist, and Sama, a young filmmaker eager to tell Fatma's story. Exploring themes of feminism, women's rights, and women’s resilience in the face of adversity, the opera promises a compelling narrative.

Crafted by composer Bushra El-Turk, director Laila Soliman, writer Stacy Hardy, and scenographer and film designer Bissane Al Charif, Woman at Point Zero blends Western and Eastern traditions. The opera, conducted by Kanako Abe, is performed on a unique mix of ancient folk instruments by musicians from all over the world.

Chatori Shimizu '16 plays the shō, a wooden wind instrument

Shimizu will demonstrate his expertise with the shō, a conventional Japanese instrument similar to a mouth organ. The shō, made from seventeen bamboo pipes attached to a wind chest and secured by a metal ring, has a history spanning over a thousand years. Its roots can be traced back to Japan's Nara period.

Chatori Shimizu (b. 1990) is a New York City-based composer, shō performer, and sound artist, who constructs his works for a wide range of mediums concerning sound and space. Ranging from orchestral works to sound installations, all of his works engage in repetitive patterns of sound motifs, which aim for the slightest change in the pattern or a silence to act as an accent. As the First Prize Winner of Malta International Composition Competition, Shimizu's works have been performed and exhibited throughout the United States, Canada, Japan, China, and Europe. Shimizu has been awarded fellowships from Columbia University School of the Arts, Institute of Medieval Japanese Studies, the Mitsubishi Foundation, Omi International Arts Center, Soundstreams, Toshiba Foundation, Yaddo, among others. His music scores are published from United Music & Media Publishing, Belgium.