Ravi Shankar’s final artistic vision is to create the world’s first East-West opera, joyfully uniting the music of both hemispheres in an entertaining, uplifting work that also communicates the elements of Indian spirituality that were so important to him. It will unite the power of music, sound and vision in a groundbreaking combination.
The great Ravi Shankar passed away in December 2012 http://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/dec/12/my-hero-ravi-shankar-amit-chaudhuri . I had been working closely with him for almost a decade.
Our focus turned to the Opera Sukanya immediately after the world premiere of his Symphony in 2010.
Ideas for the opera had been germinating in Ravi Shankar's mind since 1995, and reached a peak from 2010 onwards. Knowing that his time was limited Ravi worked incredibly fast, his musical mind gushing white hot streams of creative ideas. Sadly, he did not survive the medical intervention he needed in December 2012, and realising this could be the case, he left very clear instructions for the completion of the work. There is a wonderful team in place putting everything together from these instructions: this includes his daughter Anoushka Shankar, the author Amit Chaudhuri, myself, and his wife Sukanya Shankar.
What will the world’s first East-West Opera sound like? Here is a glimpse...a few seconds from 1) the very first rehearsal with piano (April 2014)
and 2) a "vocal percussion" rehearsal
Imagine these voices with an orchestra of Indian and Western Instruments, dancers, and the amazing visual work of 59 Productions ....and you will begin to have an idea of our artistic goal.
We would love you to share in this journey to realise Raviji's dream. We have set a baseline amount in this campaign - the more we can exceed this the closer we will get to fully realising the final artistic vision of one of the most important creative artists of all time, and a truly remarkable human being.
To find out more about Ravi Shankar's remarkable life see:
Risks and challenges
Ravi Shankar's musical vision for Sukanya encompasses musically uncharted territory. How will the critics respond to Western opera singers singing Indian ragas? How will people respond to the vibrant language of Indian percussion on the opera stage?
Everybody will be out of their artistic comfort zone in this project, but all of the team are world leaders in their respective fields. We believe this combination of talent, coupled with Raviji's vision will create a major landmark in the history of world music.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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