Ravi Shankar and Sukanya Shankar From left to right: Suba Das, Associate Director at the Curve Leicester and David Murphy, the opera's conductor ©Sim Canetty ClarkeAnoushka and Sukanya Shankar at the 'Sukanya' launch. Photo courtesy of Sim Canetty-ClarkeL to R: Video Designer Akhila Krishan, Conductor David Murphy, Director Suba Das, Choregrapher Aakash Odedra, Set Designer: Molly Einchcomb Photo credit: Sim Canetty-ClarkeImage from a work in progress presentation of 'Sukanya'

Ravi Shankar’s ‘Sukanya’ – Pre Event – Press

The world premiere of Ravi Shankar’s only opera, Sukanyaa mythical love story told through music and dance, toured the UK from 12 – 19 May 2017. Ravi Shankar was working on Sukanya at the time of his passing in December 2012 and envisaged the opera as a truly groundbreaking piece, which will explore the common ground between the music, dance and theatrical traditions of India and the West. Shankar outlined his vision for Sukanya to his longtime collaborator David Murphy.

 

The opera was supported by the Bagri Foundation in association with the Royal Opera House, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Curve Theatre, Leicester and Arts Council England. The opera was officially launched on 21 September 2016. Here is a selection of the pre-event coverage


The Guardian

Anoushka Shankar – ‘I still get to interact with my father through the music’

15 May 2017, Anoushka Shankar talking to Amanda Holloway

“My father was enchanted by the story [of the Princess Sukanya from Hindu mythology] and said he would love to make it into an opera”.

Read the full article here


The Times

Anoushka Shankar – “my father hit 90 then wrote an opera-for-mum”

11 May 2017, Laura Lewis

“There are huge swathes of music for full orchestra, and David’s been translating all that into western notation for the London Philharmonic – but the core Indian ensemble will be working off computerised recordings, handwritten notes, a rough Indian score and what I teach them.

Read the full article here.


Classical Music Magazine

Meet the Maestro: David Murphy

9 May 2017, Toby Deller

“The first performances, a co-production by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Opera House and Curve theatre and supported by the Bagri Foundation, feature Indian musicians and dancers from the Aakash Odedra Company alongside the BBC Singers, players from the LPO with soloists from the western operatic tradition (Susanna Hurrell plays the title role).”

Read the full article here


BBC Radio 3 Music Matters

Ravi Shankar’s Sukanya,

8 May 2017, Tom Service

Tom Service – “music is the subject and material and magic of this opera but it has all been written down and pieced together in all of its parts and dimensions firstly thanks to Ravi Shankar’s inspiration and vision that he articulated for the opera.”

Listen to the episode here.


The Telegraph

‘His music will live on’: Ravi Shankar’s widow on her late husband’s never- before-seen opera

3 May 2017, Ivan Hewett

“What are her favourite memories of Shankar? “One thing that sticks in my mind was going into his room on his 90th birthday and found he was doing a dance! Unbelievable!  You know he was a dancer before he was a musician, and he never lost his love of dance.”

 Read the full article here


Pulse Connects magazine

[Spring issue] 2017

The Librettist Amit Chaudhuri, Ken Hunt

Amit Chaudhuri on the libretto – “I’m quoting from Tagore, from Kālidāsa, from Eliot’s The Wasteland, from Walter Benjamin’.

 

Orchestrating Sukanya by May Robertson

“In Sukanya, Murphy wants the singers to inhabit the spirit of the raga, to internalise the way in which the drama of the music comes from the relationship between each note and the Sa drone.

 

Supporting Sukanya Article, Doria Tichit from Bagri Foundation

“We are thrilled to support the world premiere of Ravi Shankar’s opera, Sukanya. This ground-breaking project reveals how classical Indian and Western music connect on a deepl level and how stimulating such an exchange can be’”.

Read the full articles here


The Guardian

Ravi Shankar opera to get posthumous world premiere

21 September 2016, Imogen Tilden

Read the full article here.


The Times

Shankar’s Opera was Love Letter to Wife

21 September 2016, Jack Malvern

Sukanya takes its name from a character in the Indian religious text the Mahabharata and from Shankar’s widow’.

Read the full article here.


The Stage

Ravi Shankar’s only opera to premiere at Curve in Leicester

21 September 2016, David Hutchison

‘Hailed as a love story “full of mystical transformations and hidden identities”, Sukanya will be helmed by Curve associate director Suba Das, and conducted by David Murphy – who helped Shankar to compose the opera’.

Read the full article here


The Indian Express

Pandit Ravi Shankar’s opera to get UK premiere in 2017

21 September 2016

‘The first-of-its-kind stage musical, which combines operatic traditions with Indian classical music, was being composed by Pandit Ravi Shankar at the time of his passing in 2012 and completed with the help of his daughter, sitar maestro Anoushka Shankar.’

Read the full article here