29 September 2016 at 3.15pm | 3 Comments
Ravi Shankar's only opera, Sukanya, will receive its posthumous world premiere in May 2017 through a co-production between The Royal Opera, London Philharmonic Orchestra and Leicester's Curve theatre.
The opera is named after Shankar's wife and tells the story of the Princess Sukanya from ancient Hindu legend. The composer began work on the opera aged 90 and as with many of his works, the score blends Eastern and Western influences.
'I laughed when my father, aged 90, said he was writing an opera', says the composer's daughter Anoushka Shankar. 'But he never was content to sit still. He always wanted to push even more boundaries, and bring Indian classical music to the context of opera.'
Shankar is perhaps best known for bringing the sitar to mainstream attention in the West, as well as for his collaborations with musicians including The Beatles, Philip Glass, John Coltrane and Yehudi Menuhin.
This new semi-staged production will star soprano and Royal Opera regular Susanna Hurrell in the title role. The cast features a further five principal singers, five dancers, five Indian musicians, a chorus and the musical forces of the London Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of David Murphy, who collaborated extensively with Shankar in the final years of his life. Associate Director of Curve, Suba Das will direct.
The semi-staged production will tour around the UK to venues in Leicester, Salford, Birmingham and London, with London performances taking place at Royal Festival Hall.
Sukanya tours from May 2017. Tickets are now on sale from the London Philharmonic Orchestra website.