sábado, 3 de mayo de 2008

My first opera : "Mengapa Kau Culik Anak Kami?" (Why did you kidnap our son?)

Now that I almost (just a few bars left to be orchestrated !) finish the writing of my first opera (it will be a long time before I will write my second ; I am totally exhausted and running out of notes!) , I dare to share with you more details about it. I wrote a bit about it last January, in relation to the death of our former dictator/president Suharto if you want to read more stuff.

It is based on a play by Seno Gumira Ajidarma which was done already (and had a huge success) in 2001 in Jakarta. The setting is in a living room of a married couple whose son, Satria, had been lost for a year, most presumably kidnapped during the Suharto dictatorship. Satria was a student and an activist, and it is unknown whether he is still alive or dead. For the world premiere, the father will be played by Joseph Kristanto (baritone) and the mother Aning Katamsi (soprano). Satria will come and go as both a flashback and in an imaginary situation in a torture chamber, being interrogated. Satria's role will be played by Chendra Panatan, who will also choreograph and direct the whole opera. Oh, and don't worry, he's not going to sing ! He will, however, undergo all the violent tortures (yes, it will be quite realistic, so don't bring under-age children to the opera) by two additional dancers.

In addition to the fantastic artists above, Tommy Prabowo will conduct an ensemble of 9 musicians which include : a string quartet, a woodwind trio, a keyboard and one percussionist. This opera is the result of a commission by the Indonesian Opera Society, and the world premiere will take place at Usmar Ismail Hall on a date that is easy to remember : 8 - 8 - 08, at 8 pm. That is the eighth of August this year. There will be another performance the day after.

Apart from the arias, there are some highlights from the opera that could be performed as separate numbers in the future. Those include a 4-minute string quartet when Satria is being interrogated and reaching out in futile to his parents, and a 2,5-minute bassoon solo piece "Satria Sendiri" (Satria alone) where Satria was alone in jail, frightened, blindfolded, but with a spirit that has not been broken.