Where Elephants Weep: Cambodia’s first rock opera October 30, 2008Posted by chandrapong007 in Cambodia, Culture.
Tags: Cambodia's first rock opera, Where Elephants Weep
November 28 – December 7, 2008
Chenla Theater, Phnom Penh
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Cambodia’s first rock opera will premiere in Phnom Penh next month.
“Where Elephants Weep” is an East-meets-West blend of traditional Cambodian music and Western rock that is modeled after “Romeo and Juliet” and inspired by the Broadway musical “Rent.”
Organizers said Wednesday the show will open a 10-day run Nov. 28 in a converted movie theater in the capital, Phnom Penh, a year later than its planned debut at the end of 2007.
The show was commissioned by Cambodian Living Arts, a project of the Boston-based nonprofit organization World Education, which seeks to revive traditional Cambodian performing arts and inspire contemporary artistic expression among Cambodians.
“Where Elephants Weep” is an operatic take on “Tum Teav,” the Cambodian version of “Romeo and Juliet.” It tells the story a Cambodian-American who lost his father during the Khmer Rouge era and returns home after Cambodia’s civil war to trace his roots. In Phnom Penh, he meets and falls in love with a Cambodian woman who works as a karaoke singer.
The music was composed by the Russian-trained Cambodian maestro Him Sophy. He was inspired by the musical genre of the rock opera “Rent,” which he saw twice during a trip to New York City.
Cambodian musicians in the performance use electric guitars, electronic drums, keyboards and traditional instruments like buffalo horns, bamboo flutes, gongs and the chapei, a long-neck lute with two nylon strings. (By KER MUNTHIT, AP)