To La Monnaie this evening to see Toshio Hosokawa’s opera, Hanjo. The story is beautiful in its simplicity. Besotted young Hanjo waits for the return of her lover, Yoshio, but when he returns she doesn’t recognise him – he doesn’t correspond to her memory of him – and so she returns to her waiting. Hanjo, a former geisha, was bought out by an older female artist, Jitsuko Honda, who is besotted with her. At first Jitsuko fears Yoshio’s arrival but realises with quiet triumphalism as Yoshio storms away that Hanjo’s Yoshio, who exists only in her deranged mind, can never arrive. Choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s staging is pared back to the barest necessities so that we are left to concentrate only on the three protagonists and Hosokawa’s music. I found the beginning – a lengthy silence alone with Hanjo, followed by a gradual crescendo – powerfully profound.