Yoru no Jo-ou・夜の女王 (aka The Queer of the Night) was initially inspired by my first work, The Queen in Me, in order to expand the latter. Now that my artistic practice includes creating projects and space for equity seeking artists, especially within opera which is still a largely heteronormative, homogenous, and patriarchal industry, I’m striving to do this by re-imagining what opera could be, taking opera and replanting it into multi-disciplinary theatre where it can grow beyond the industry’s systemic limits.
The first attempt at this expansion of The Queen in Me created a completely other narrative that wanted to be told with the focus being the many polarizing and precarious identities that I continue to hold within myself as an artist including:
my race (Asian and Caucasian)
gender queerness and coming to terms about my homosexuality
musicality (taiko player and opera singer)
lineage (my father’s influences and mother influences)
Yoru allows me to argue these inherent binaries which reflect my complicated and evolving journey dealing with:
gender dysphoria and presentation
not being recognized as fully enough of one or the other identity or attribute
familial and cultural/societal acceptance
professional and personal discrimination and safety
My parents separated when I was a child and my father died of cancer when I was a teenager. Because of an estranged relationship and his early death, my connection to my Japanese identity was denied into my adulthood. It has only been in the last two years that I have had the threshold to look back and understand who my father was as a man and where I came from. I started studying Japanese and then went to Japan with my brother for the first time spring of 2018 and met family members I hadn’t known. It was life changing. The desire to understand what my father’s DNA and culture means to me informs the creation of Yoru.
— 笠原 修 ( 越後 曇天)
“I empty the cup
— Osamu Kasahara (Echigo Donten)
Yoru is currently in development with Theatre Gargantua’s SideStream Cycle and Amplified Opera. This work is generously sponsored by the Recommender Grants for Theatre Creators from the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts. This is Teiya’s second play.
“I’m not kidding around, taking the stage, or playing a character in your show
This is not a phase that a second adolescence will take for me to outgrow.”
- from Yoru (The Queer of the Night)