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Ravi Shankar's Sukanya

From the Royal Festival Hall in London, the first broadcast of Ravi Shankar's only opera, Sukanya, based on a story from the ancient Sanskrit texts of the Mahabharata.

Radio 3 presents the first broadcast of Indian music legend Ravi Shankar's only opera, Sukanya, which premiered posthumously in May.

Myth, music and dance meet in Shankar's extravagant work, based on a story from the legendary Sanskrit texts of the Mahabharata, with a score which combines traditional Indian instruments with a Western orchestra and singers.

After a terrible mistake leaves the ancient sage Chyavana blinded, the beautiful princess Sukanya finds herself marrying for the sake of her kingdom. As a pair of swaggering, meddling gods watch this unlikely union blossom, will love grow in the strangest of circumstances?

This semi-staged concert performance is directed by Suba Das, Associate Director of the Curve Theatre Leicester, with dance choreographed by the Aakash Odedra Company, production by The Royal Opera and music performed by the BBC Singers and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Susanna Hurrell (soprano) Sukanya
Alok Kumar (tenor), Chyavana
Keel Watson (bass-baritone), King Shaariyati
Michel de Souza (baritone), Aswini Twin
Njabulo Madlala (baritone), Aswini Twin
Eleanor Minney (alto), Friend
Parimal Sadaphal (sitar)
Ashwani Shankar (shehnai)
Pandit Rajkumar Misra (tabla)
M Balachander (mridangam, konnakol)
Pirashanna Thevarajah (ghatam, morsing, konnakol)
London Philharmonic Orchestra
BBC Singers
David Murphy, conductor

Presented by Andrew McGregor
Recorded at the Royal Festival Hall, 19 May 2017.

2 hours, 30 minutes

Music Played

  • Ravi Shankar

    Sukanya

    Performer: Susanna Hurrell. Performer: Alok Kumar. Performer: Keel Watson. Performer: Michel de Souza. Performer: Njabulo Madlala. Orchestra: London Philharmonic Orchestra. Choir: BBC Singers.
  • Interval

    • Ravi Shankar

      Meetings Along the Edge

      Performer: Ravi Shankar. Conductor: Ashit Desai. Conductor: Suresh Lalwani.
      • Passages.
      • Private Music.
      • 5.
  • Post-concert

    • Olivier Messiaen

      L'Apparition de l'├ëglise ├ęternelle

      Performer: Michael Harris.
      • The Rieger Organ of St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh (BBC Recording).
    • David Peebles

      Psalm 107

      Choir: Cappella Nova. Conductor: Alan Tavener.
      • Sacred Music for Mary Queen of Scots.
      • Gaudeamus.
      • 5.
    • David Peebles

      Si quis diligit me (If Ye Love Me)

      Choir: Cappella Nova. Conductor: Alan Tavener.
      • Sacred Music for Mary Queen of Scots.
      • Gaudeamus.
      • 4.
    • Peter Maxwell Davies

      3 Voluntaries, Op. 61: No. 1. Psalm 124 (after David Peebles)

      Performer: Michael Bonaventure.
      • Maxwell Davies: Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis.
      • Delphian.
      • 3.

Credit

Role Contributor
Performer BBC Singers

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