Where Elephants Weep – First Cambodian Rock Opera Premieres

Where Elephants Weep,” Cambodia’s first full-fledged Broadway style rock opera, goes into premiere at Phnom Penh’s Chenla Theater on November 28. According to the AFP:

Cambodia’s first-ever Broadway musical-style rock opera, which will incorporate Cambodian lullabies and Khmer Rouge propaganda songs, will premiere later this month, organisers said Tuesday. “Where Elephants Weep,” a modern take on a traditional Cambodian love story that merges pop and rock music with more traditional and historical Cambodian tunes is scheduled to open in Phnom Penh on November 28. “It will be the first time in the kingdom’s history that a Broadway-ready contemporary opera of this scale and calibre has ever been staged and represents a turning point in the creative and cultural revival of Cambodia,” organisers said in a statement.

From the plot synopsis of “Where Elephants Weep“:

In Where Elephants Weep, the struggle between East and West, tradition and modernity, plays out through a musical score drawing on classical western, ancient Cambodian, and popular American music traditions and a story set against the backdrop of a beautiful land torn by a history of war and terror. Sam, a refugee from the Khmer Rouge genocide, leaves America and returns to his homeland, Cambodia. Committed to finding his roots in his native culture, he unexpectedly falls in love with Bopha, a pop-star.

The show is an initiative of Cambodia Living Arts, an organization dedicated to the revival of traditional Cambodian performing arts and encouraging contemporary artistic expression.

You can sample some of the music from the show HERE.

Ticket information available HERE.

(If you are planning a trip to Angkor Wat please check out Savuth’s tuk tuk transportation services at Angkortuktuk.net)

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~ by Leonard on November 19, 2008.

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