Friday, November 28, 2008

The Elephants are celebrating

The legendary Ieng Sithul and a freeloader who gatecrashed the premiere - oh that's me then!
I must say I really enjoyed the show tonight. My thanks to Anthony for the ticket and to Marie, his wife and my companion for the evening. Where Elephants Weep was my first rock-opera and I hope it won't be my last. If you suspend belief for the duration of the performance, the musical-cum-opera is a love story of course, between Sam and Bopha set in Cambodia in the mid-90s, mixing traditional elements of Cambodian music with a rock element which worked well and though it's heavily influenced by the involvement of western actors and production team, it captures its fair share of the conflict between tradition and modernity in Cambodia today. I'm the least qualified to give an in-depth critique of the show, suffice to say it was a professional performance from all concerned and one which will show another dimension to the performing arts for the local audiences next week. The show attracted the great and the good from senior government ministers to actors, actresses such as Dy Savet, singers including Preap Savath, statesmen like Son Soubert and Sichan Siv, the list was endless. On stage I was so pleased to see the likes of master musician and singer Ieng Sithul, the beautiful classical ballet star Sam Sathya and Dang Kosal as one of the bodyguards. Kosal was working at Meta House until he joined the production three months ago and its a wonderful opportunity for the young man to make his mark. The tickets for tonight's VIP world premiere topped $250 including a champagne and cocktail reception, so once again thanks to Anthony for the freebie.
The two leads - Sam (Michael K Lee) and Bopha (Diane Veronica Phelan)
Members of cast and crew celebrate their success
Ex-Meta House pal & bodyguard Dang Kosal and his PR photo above in the cap
Executive producer John Burt (front) and members of cast, crew and friends enjoying the limelight. Yes, that's BosbaPANH sat on the floor.

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