November 12, 2005, 2 p.m.
Alice Mackay Room
Vancouver Public Library
350 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC
Presented by Save Kogawa House Committee
The Save Kogawa House Committee welcomes you to this celebration of our 120-day moratorium on demolition of the childhood home of author Joy Kogawa.
This 1915 home at 1450 West 64th Avenue stands as reminder of the 1942 removal from their homes of men, women and children of Japanese descent. Joy’s memories of her happy life in this modest home in Marpole stayed with her throughout internment in Slocan and inspired parts of her 1981 novel Obasan and the children’s story Naomi’s Road, on which this opera is based.
The opera Naomi’s Road, which premiered on September 30 as Vancouver Opera’s second-ever commissioned original work, is now touring 140 schools and community centres throughout British Columbia.
On November 1, a graft of the cherry tree from Joy’s childhood home was planted at City Hall and Mayor Larry Campbell proclaimed the day Obasan Cherry Tree Day. On November 3, Vancouver City Council voted unanimously to pass an unprecedented order to delay demolition of Joy’s childhood home. This 120-day period allows us time to raise funds so that the house can be purchased and converted into a writers’ centre. Charitable donations can be made online through the Vancouver Heritage Foundation website at http://www.vancouverheritagefoundation.org/Kogawa.html.
Jessica Cheung as Naomi, and Gina Oh as Mother in the Vancouver Opera’s “Naomi’s Road” – photo courtesy of Vancouver Opera
SAVE KOGAWA HOUSE
Celebration and Awareness Concert
November 12, 2005
2:05pm: Harry Aoki & Friends
2:25pm: Raymond Chow Special Presentation
2:40pm: Naomi’s Road – Vancouver Opera Touring Ensemble
3:25pm: Questions and Answers
3:40pm: Closing Remarks and Thank You
Vancouver Opera Touring Ensemble
Cast and Crew
Naomi — Jessica Cheung
Mother, Obasan, Mitzi — Gina Oh
Stephen — Sam Chung
Father, Trainmaster, Rough Lock Bill, Bully — Sung Chung
Pianist: Angus Kellett
Stage manager: David Fuller
Music by Ramona Leungen
Libretto by Ann Hodges
Music director: Leslie Uyeda
Commissioned by Vancouver Opera, James W. Wright, General Director. Running time is approximately 45 minutes
Internationally recognized as an artist, Raymond Chow’s drawings of Vancouver, Victoria, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles form a unique history of the heritage of the Pacific coast. Raymond is also a pianist and composer who has produced music for ballet, CD and video.
Harry’s personal story mirrors that of the role of 10-year-old Steven in the Naomi’s Road opera. Harry had to leave behind his beloved violin, when he was removed from the West Coast in 1942 because he is Japanese Canadian. Today Harry hosts First Friday Forum, a monthly evening of music and discussion at the Nikkei Centre in Burnaby.
to Vancouver Opera, Vancouver Public Library, Mayor Larry Campbell, Councillors Jim Green, Raymond Louie and Ellen Woodsworth, Vancouver City Council, Parks Commisioners Suzanne Anton and Heather Deal, Gerry McGeough, Diane Switzer, Vancouver Heritage Foundation, Heather Redfern, Marion Quednau, Jackie Byrn, James Wright, Paul Whitney, Ellen Crowe-Swords, Scott McIntyre, James Johnstone, Yosef Wosk, Alma Lee, Hitomi Nunotani, Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop, Don Montgomery, Ricepaper Magazine, ExplorASIAN, Ross Bliss and the many writer associations across the country.