One World Theatreâ€™s International Premiere of Arjunaâ€™s Dilemma
One World Theatre, a non-profit Theatre Company in Kathmandu is presenting Arjunaâ€™s Dilemma, a 70 minute contemporary fusion opera by the American composer Douglas J. Cuomo, that was premiered in New York in the 2008 BAM Next Wave Festival. The musical drama is based on the text from the ancient Indian epic, the Bhagavad Gita, and the poetry of Kabir.
The first ever Western style opera produced in Nepal, Arjunaâ€™s Dilemma is a collaboration of world class American and professional Nepali artists. The play brings the story of Arjunaâ€™s Dilemma to life by fusing western classical music with jazz and Indian classical music into a true multi-cultural event.
The story follows the warrior Prince Arjuna as he engages in a legendary philosophical dialogue on the eve of the first conflict of a massive civil war. Similar to the Nepalese people who suffered through a recent brutal civil war and then the devastation of the 2015 Twin Earthquakes, Arjuna can vividly imagine the coming destruction and wants â€œto stop my chariotâ€–a powerful refrain in the opera.
About the project, the Music Director for the play, Jonathan Khuner says, â€œThough I’ve been working for the last 35 years in the operatic medium, this project expands far beyond the boundaries of my existing mÃ©tier. For this particular project, we have recruited people from vastly different backgrounds and fields, for almost all of whom the content, the organization, and the actual opera production experience are very new; and have engaged them in a true transcultural project bringing together the combined expertise, traditions and culture of all the participants.â€
The opera sees an acclaimed international cast and production team bringing an original opera to Nepal. It also incorporates Nepali actors Rajkumar Pudasaini and Salil Subedi as the embodiment of Krishna and Arjuna, as well as movement and tableaux by physical actors depicting the plight of humanity.
To be performed from September 3rd to September 11th at Bhitri Chowk, Patan Museum, Patan Durbar Square; the play seeks to affirm the enduring beauty of South Asian arts and culture, encourage the return of tourism to Patan Durbar Square after the terrible destruction of the quake last year, and raise funds for temple reconstruction in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Date: September 3 â€“11, 2016, 7 pm (No performances on September 6 or 7)
Venue: Bhitri Chowk, Patan Museum, Patan Durbar Square.
Admission: Adults Rs. 750, Rs. 500; Students Rs. 200
Box Office: Opens at 6:30 pm on performance days.