Maestro-cum-impresario SP Somtow is all set to stage the latest magnificent opera-ballet production in his Das Jati series on the Ten Lives of the Buddha.
This third production in the series, following The Silent Prince in 2012 and Mahajanaka in 2014, is titled Bhuridat, The Dragon Lord and is actually based on the ‘Sixth Life’ of Buddha. It will be staged at Thailand Cultural Centre from May 22-24.
Bhuridat promises to be true spectacle with a huge cast featuring 100 artistes, an orchestra of 70 musicians, grand sets, magnificent costumes, unique dances, and Cirque du Soleil like action-sequences. Somtow describes it as an experience for the whole family, “Something between Dragon Slayer and Harry Potter.”
Set to Somtow’s musical composition and performed by an international cast, the story of Bhuridat centres around an evil dragon who kidnaps the young Buddha while he is meditating near the Yamuna River in India, packs him into a bag, and does sorcery-tricks with him in different cities, finally coming to the holy Indian city of Varanasi. They are pursued by Buddha’s mother and her magical ‘Frog’ sister. The final battle between the evil dragon and the magical frog takes place on a grand scale, symbolizing the never-ending war between good and evil.
In order to pursue the remaining productions in his ambitious Ten Lives series, Somtow has begun a crowd-funding scheme through social media. It has raised B700000 to date and Somtow is hopeful that, in addition to his overseas admirers, more local opera-ballet lovers will come forward to contribute.
Bhuridat, The Dragon Lord will be performed at Thailand Cultural Centre, May 22-24 at 8pm, with an additional matinee at 2pm on Sunday, May 24.
By Lekha Shankar