First open-air opera in Thimphu
Thimphu experienced for the first time a new spice of entertainment on Saturday – a German opera team performed first show.
Hosted by Royal Textile Academy (RTA), German composer George Frideric Handel’s opera Acis and Galatea drawing quite a big number of Thimphu residents.
The opera show was a fusion of Bhutanese and German singing, music, dance, costume design and other artistic performances. This was the first combination of Bhutanese and Western music performing in Bhutanese soil. There opera artists come from 10 countries.
Handel’s ‘Acis and Galatea’ is based on an ancient myth that celebrates the triumph of compassion and goodness over anger, greed, and ignorance. It is an ancient story from Ovid’s Metamorphoses that was later turned into an opera by Handel. The pastoral opera narrates an affair between two young lovers, Acis and Galatea, which is interrupted by the jealous Polyphemus, who destroys his rival by crushing him with a rock. Galatea, moved by grief, transforms the dead Acis into an everlasting stream whose ripples symbolise their eternal love.
In integrating the Bhutanese element, Handel’s 300-year old musical work is transformed into a Bhutanese story set in the 1900s. Galatea is among a group of young travellers, who come to Bhutan for the first time. Galatea falls in love with Acis, who is Bhutanese.
The participating Bhutanese institutions and organisations were the Department of Culture, Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs, Royal Academy of Performing Arts and the RTA.
University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and Opera Bhutan partnered to make the show possible that marked the second anniversary of the royal couple.