Saturday, April 4, 2015

Scenes from KM’s Opera, Staged to Perfection

Discussing notes, finalising the costumes and rehearsing everyday as the show draws closer, the students and faculty at KM Music College for Music and Technology have been gearing up for the finale, KM Opera Scenes, premiering on Saturday.

Directors of the Opera from all over the world are working hard to produce pieces as close to the original as possible. Hratsjuhi Aramian from Belgium who just came out of a rehearsal, stopped by to speak to City Express about the preparation, the making of her scene and the students’ response to Opera in the city, along with directors Cynthia Smith and conductor James Bunch who are faculty at the college.

“I think India and Chennai will respond well to opera because our scenes are similar to a Bollywood movie. It has the dramatic elements that an opera has, which would make the children and adults like it,” she said.

Her piece, the Favourite, is inspired by the Opera La Favourita by Gaetano Donizetti. It has a collection of songs by famous composers. The story of a love triangle among Leanora, Alfonso and priest Fernando, will be presented by eight boys and 15 girls. 

James, who takes care of conducting the orchestration of one of the operas, says that the students have been picking up fast, considering the little exposure they’ve had. “They have been practising for this since October or November and I think they’re doing well. Considering that they’ve never worked with a real orchestra earlier, they’re picking up fast,” he says.

Smith’s act titled Comeuppance, an adaptation of Italian composer Giacoma Puccini’s comic opera Gianni Schichi, is another. The highlight of the act is the performers singing in kurtas and saris, while some will be seen in Western outfits. “I would feel more comfortable singing in kurtas than in those dresses the singers usually wear,” says Cynthia.

The plot and characters of Puccini’s famous opera, however, will be retained in its adaptation performed by Cynthia and her team. The orchestra, comprising mostly the students from KM Music College, were picked and chosen by the team. “There is even a carnatic flautist, who will be playing the western notes,” says Aaron Smith.

KM Opera Scenes will be staged at 7 pm at the KM College of Music and Technology, Arumbakkam. Entry free.

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