Fumio Tamara, Composer (Japanese);
Kei Kasahara, Librettist (Japanese)
Conductor: Philip Walsh
Outside Sengawa Station/Evening rush hour.
A TV reporter is interviewing a young girl who is collecting signatures from commuters. The reporter also talks to a city councillor who highhandedly declares the authority's determination to cut down the cherry trees. The young girl and the councillor argue.
Eventually she goes back to canvassing and manages to convince a middle-aged woman to sign the petition. The woman reminisces about happier days with her husband and her fond memory of the cherry trees. The young girl is moved by the woman's story. The Station Master appears. He recognises the girl and starts to talk to her. She tries to win his support. He is friendly but hesitant as he says that he does not want to jeopardize the rest of his career. She argues further, he also talks about the effect of the trees on him and others. But he is not swayed.
At the Public Hearing
The Mayor introduces the meeting. A Councillor tries to argue the case for cutting down the cherry trees. Everyone interrupts him. A man in a wheelchair angrily rejects the Councillor's statement that the scheme is good for the disabled like him. A clerk also announces some of the conciliatory ideas the authority is offering to the residents.
Many find them patronising. A man in a wheelchair speaks of his young colleagues who never returned from the war. The officials worry about the right wing backlash. An indignant young man accuses him of being merely nostalgic. An awkward silence ensues.
The stationmaster tries to mediate. A middle-aged woman joins him and the others follow suit. The Clerk takes the discussion back to where it started by saying that they would replace the old trees with the new ones. The middle-aged woman sharply accuses him. General confusion. A young girl sings about how each of us has cherry trees in our own heart. The middle-aged woman, the man in a wheelchair and the stationmaster join in.
The Mayor abruptly announces that they will reconsider the decision. Everyone except the young man rejoices. The young man protests. A TV reporter rounds up his report.
Casting at the Workshop
Young University Student Tara Harrison Soprano
Middle Aged Woman Aileen Sim Mezzo-Soprano
City Official Henry Moss Tenor
Man in a wheel chair Damian Thantrey Baritone
Other characters in the opera
Assistant Mayor: Tenor (High)
Station Master: Bass-Baritone
Repititeur: Alex Wells
Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Trumpet, Trombone, Percussion, Piano
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