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Siddhartha set for NY

A new musical based on Nobel Laureate Hermann Hesse's novel opens in New York on February 23.

india Updated: Feb 02, 2006 18:26 IST

Sidd, a new musical based on the novel Siddhartha by Nobel Prize winning German author Hermann Hesse, is set to open here February 23.

This musical reincarnation of Siddhartha testifies to the continuing influence of the book published in 1922 and one of Hesse's most widely read works. While performances of Sidd will begin on February 23, the musical will have its official opening onMarch 22.

Sidd chronicles the journey of a man from his early wanderings in his home village, through jazz and glamour and corruption of the city, to his meeting with the Buddha and ultimately to enlightenment.

Sidd features a diverse cast of seven actors accompanied onstage by piano, cello and percussion trio. The music and lyrics are by Doug Silver and direction and additional lyrics are by Andrew Frank. The musical's eclectic scores draws on various influences.

The novel, Siddhartha, is based on the early life of Gautama Buddha and tells the story of a Brahman son who rebels against his father's teaching and traditions. Eventually he finds the ultimate enlightenment.

The book reveals the strong influence of India on Hesse's upbringing and on his mature worldview. Hesse's mother was born in India and was the daughter of missionary and Indologist Hermann Gundert. Hesse's parents expected him to follow the family tradition in theology - they had served as missionaries in India.

Hesse himself visited India in 1911, acquiring a lifelong interest in Hindu and Buddhist philosophy. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946.

First Published: Feb 01, 2006 17:29 IST