August 5 and 7 at 8 pm, Family Matinee Aug 6 at 4 pm
Thailand Cultural Center (Main Hall)
Bangkok audiences have now seen four episodes from Somtow Sucharitkul's massive DasJati - Ten Lives of the Buddha, which when completed will be, in the words of London's Opera Now magazine, "the biggest integrated classical music work of all time." Bangkokhas seen The Silent Prince (Part I), Mahajanaka (Part II), Bhuridat (Part VI) and The Chariot of Heaven (Part IV). The third part, Suwana Sama - The Faithful Son, premiered in a special production in Rangsit in December 2015. That production now comes to Bangkok for the first time, in three performances that are planned before an inticipated international tour. The production celebrates the birthday of H.M. The Dowager Queen, and the story is one about the love between mother and son, so powerful that is able to conquer even death itself.
London's Opera magazine's review of this production: "lively, colorful, enjoyable, and ultimately very moving combination of opera and ballet, of the sacred and profane." Michael Proudfoot, in The Nation, commented: "Somtow conjures another breathtaking ending. Sama is fatally wounded by an evil king, hunting for trophies. The dying Sama does not reprove the king, but asks him to summon his blind parents. As the king realises the full horror of his action, a statue, which has been onstage throughout the entire opera, suddenly comes to life, and reveals herself as Bahusodari, the messenger of the King of Heaven. In an amazing single aria, hauntingly accompanied by solo violin, she tells the king he has killed the Bodhisattva. As the king goes to bring Sama's parents to his dead body, the animals of the forest (the ballet dancers) mourn Sama's death, to the doleful strains of the khlui, the Thai flute, brilliantly played by Somnuek Saeng-Arun. As his devoted and deeply religious parents grieve over Sama's dead body, he comes back to life, cures his parents' blindness, forgives the king, and enjoins the villagers and animals to "be faithful to your parents and you shall find happiness", and the chorus reflects that "happiness has returned to the world through the devotion of a faithful son". It is a sublime ending, leaving many in the audience with tears in their eyes. Perhaps the most amazing performance was by the American soprano Cassandra Black. For Suwana Sama, Black, as the statue, must sit completely immobile on stage for 70 minutes, before coming to life to sing her one and only aria -- a sensational showpiece, dazzlingly sung."
In this production Black is joined by popular Chicago Lyric Opera star Stacey Tappan as a celestial being, Damian Whiteley in the virtuoso double role of the King of Heaven and the King of Benares, and Jak Cholvijarn reprising his role (as he has throughout the series) of the Boddhisattva. SUWANA SAMA, one of the ten iconic Jataka tales that are loved by Buddhists all around the world, is a moving tale of devotion and redemption, set in the magical forest of the Himavant. The Faithful Son has talking statues, poisonous giant serpents, gods and demons, and a mysterious child whose skin is pure gold.
Tickets range from 500 budget seats to 5,000 baht for a VIP ticket that includes a reception. They are available from Thai Ticket Major. The link to purchase tickets is http://www.thaiticketmajor.com/performance/suwana-sama-the-faithful-son-2017-en.html
If you would like to go as a large group from an educational institution, club, or society, Opera Siam has special arrangements and rates. You may inquire via this form https://goo.gl/nBDzJj or by telephoning K Ratana and (02) 231-5273.