Who’s Who

T O K A I D O  R O A D  was conceived and created  by Okeanos founder member, clarinettist and academic Kate Romano.

I was curious to know more about Okeanos:  about what was really happening – artistically and culturally – when we collaborated with other art forms and what our relationship was with the two cultures. Tokaido Road is both a  creative ambition and a framework in which to explore the synergy in these relationships. I also wanted to put an end to casual and marginal media labels – ‘fusion’, ‘fringe’, ‘alternative’ – which are sometimes used to describe art which doesn’t easily sit within a category.  Tokaido Road is a journey of discovery for me, but most of all, a shining example of what that I firmly believe- that art is for everybody. In  Tokaido Road we set out to find and develop all those ways of engaging’.

Kate is a senior academic at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She leads the research project connected to Tokaido Road and retains the main project management role in the opera.  As a clarinettist, she has given over 100 solo and chamber music premieres, recorded 2 solo CDs and appears on many other recordings as a chamber musician. In 2011 Kate founded and directs the eclectic Goldfield Ensemble who are enjoying rapid success as a chamber music ensemble. Kate holds a doctorate in composition from Kings College London.

M U S I C  (Okeanos)  Robin Thompson  (Sho)    Melissa Holding  (Koto)   Jinny Shaw  (Oboe)  Kate Romano  (Clarinets)   Bridget Carey  (Viola)   Sophie Harris  (Cello)  Dominic Wheeler  (Conductor)

S T A G E   Caroline Clegg (Director)  Kimie Nakano  (Designer) Daniel Whewell (Lighting)   Theo Burt  (Images) Wynn White  (Images)  Stuart Calder  (Producer)

C A S T   Jeremy Huw Williams  (Hiroshige), Raphaela Papadakis  (Kikuyo), Caryl Hughes (Mariko)

M A N A G E M E N T  Kate Romano (Tokaido Road Creative Director) Daniel Harding (Online Media Consultant),  WildKat (PR)

N A N C Y   G A F F I E L D  – librettist

Nancy’s work has appeared in various magazines and anthologies, including The Forward Book of Poetry 2012. Tokaido Road was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, was nominated for the Forward First Collection Prize and won the Aldeburgh First Collection Prize 2011. A recipient of a Templar Poetry Pamphlet Award, Nancy’s second collection, Owhere, was published in November 2012; a third collection, Continental Drift, will be coming out in Shearsman in April 2014.  She is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Kent.

N I C O L A   L E F A N U – composer

Nicola has composed over 100 works, which have been played and broadcast all over the world; her music is published by Novello and by Edition Peters. She has been commissioned by the BBC, by festivals in the UK and beyond, and by leading orchestras, ensembles and soloists. Many works are available on CD, on the NMC, Lorelt, Naxos, Metier and NEOS labels. She has been associated with opera and music theatre throughout her career, and has composed seven operas to date, which have been staged in the UK, Ireland and USA. This will be her second collaboration with Okeanos.

D O M I N I C   W H E E L E R  – conductor

Head of Opera at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Dominic was previously an Audi Conducting Scholar and, later, guest conductor at Dartington International Summer School.

He has a wealth of experience conducting at both conservatoires and with major opera companies, including ENO, Opera North, Opera New Zealand, English Touring Opera and Scottish Opera. Previous to his appointment as Head of Opera Dominic was a Visiting Music coach at the Guildhall School and conducted a production of L’augellino belvedere. He has also been a Vocal Repertoire coach at the Royal Academy of Music. Dominic has worked with ENO, Opera North, Opera New Zealand, English Touring Opera and Scottish Opera. Dominic has previously conducted music by both Nicola LeFanu and stage works by her mother, Elizabeth Maconchy.

C A R O L I N E   C L E G G – director

Currently taking the role of Associate Director at Welsh National Opera, Caroline is also a highly skilled freelance director working in theatre and opera. She works regionally, in the West End, UK and Internationally. In 1994 she founded the highly successful, award-winning and creative venture Feelgood Theatre Productions. Caroline is the recipient of numerous awards including the Horniman Award for Outstanding Contribution to Live Theatre, the Manchester Evening News Award for ‘Best Special Entertainment’, the Angel Award for ‘Artistic Excellence’ and the John Thaw Fellowship at Manchester University. Tokaido Road is Caroline’s second collaboration with Nicola LeFanu.

K I M I E   N A K A N O  – set and costume design

Japanese Kimie Nakano has a highly successful and International career as a designer in theatre, opera, film, dance and television. She trained in fashion design in Paris and studied stage costume at ENSATT and Paris Opera. Kimie has worked with Oscar winning Costume Designer Emi Wada on Peter Greenaway’s film ‘Eight and a Half Women’, as a designer on many International Theatre productions and with the Akram Khan Dance Company on the ‘Vertical Road’ world tour. Kimie has conducted extensive research in intercultural theatre with Noh master and director Hideo Kanze. Her presentation of traditional Japanese theatre for a new generation, ‘Yabu no Naka’ directed by Nomura Mansai won the Tokyo Art Festival Award. Tokaido Road will be Kimie’s second collaboration with a LeFanu chamber opera.

S T U A R T   C A L D E R – Associate Producer

Head of Production at Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Stuart has extensive experience in theatre (notably the National, Lyric Hammersmith, Soho and the Royal Albert Hall). He has worked in film and television (BBC Comedy Awards, Icarus) as Festival Stage Manager in the UK and Europe and recently in contemporary music production with the BCMG producing David Sawyer’s Rumpelstiltskin.


Hiroshige images supplied by the British Museum

The commission and the production are supported by funding from Arts Council England, Britten Pears Foundation, Stanley Thomas Foundation, The Leche Trust, John S Cohen Foundation, The Radcliffe Trust, The Sasakawa Foundation. Okeanos are grateful for corporate support towards development costs from JTI