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God’s own musings

Who says the Gods don’t go to war? An international opera with an Indian touch shows how.

music Updated: Sep 25, 2013 18:17 IST
Samarth Goyal

Fighting to get someone you love has been an age-old tradition. Fighting, being the metaphor for the resilience and spirit to not give up until you have found the one.

With what is termed as the first opera ever, Orfeo (1607) promises to be a musical treat for the audiences as a part of The Neemrana Music Foundation. With 50 Indo-French artists, it is a five act play — the first-of-its-kind in the Capital.

In the story of ‘Orfeo, crossing the Ganges’, Orfeo travels to India and falls in love with Eurydice, a dancer consecrated to the service of Lord Shiva.

He kidnaps her and marries her, provokes the fury of Shiva and consequently, the cobra around Shiva’s neck kills Eurydice. Orfeo’s quest to find his beloved takes him to Varanasi. A victim of his illusions, Orfeo fails and is put to death.

Talking about converting the opera to Indian Style, Francois Rancillac, the director of the play, says, “We’ve tried to connect
the story with Indian culture. The movements are inspired by Indian style and even the red colour of Eurydice’s costume is symbolic of marriage and love in India.”

The specificity of this production is the use of very rare instruments from the time of Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi, such as orbo, viola de gamba, organ and harpsichord.

“This opera has incorporated baroque music from the time of Monteverdi, along with a mix of Indian instruments like s shehnai, sarangi and tabla,” says Francoise Lasserre, the music conductor.

Catch it live
What: Orfeo Crossing the Ganges
When: On till September 27
Timing: 7pm onwards
Where: Kamani Auditorium, Copernicus Marg
Nearest metro station: Mandi House on the Blue Line