Home Chennai Hashtags, operas & ‘Ayyos’

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    KM College of Music and Technology’s show will see old stories, with a modern twist

    Opera and social media might seem like an odd combination—what with the former being hundreds of years old and the latter, less than a decade. But come this Friday, you will see an operatic adaptation with a mix of both. With 50 singers and 10 instrumentalists, the fifth edition of K M College of Music and Technology’s annual performance will see two centuries-old stories on stage, with a modern twist. Stylised as #itsComplicated, Opera Scenes 2014 will give audiences an opportunity to participate in the performance through social networking websites—their posts, pictures and tweets will be put up on the stage throughout the performance.

    There will be four performances, reveals Adam Greig, the academic co-ordinator of KMMC. “We’ll be performing a short one-act comic scene titled Bastien and Bastienne by Mozart and the story of Orpheus and Eurydice. We have three adaptations of the latter, each composed in three different centuries by noted composers—Claudio Monteverdi, Christoph Willibald Gluck and Jacques Offenbach. We show how the story has been retold in different times,” says Grieg.

    Social media also plays a part in the story of Orpheus and Eurydice—a what-if scenario where the personal lives of two lovers are taken over by hashtags, tweets and instagram filters. “One, you need to find a way to make western classical music understandable to modern audience. And two, operas are known for their inside jokes and commentary relevant to a particular time. They need to be relatable to the audience. So a 200-year-old piece loses its meaning when it is performed in its original form. That is why we chose to portray them this way,” says Grieg. An important part, and quite possibly the highlight, would be the half-Tamil, half-English argument between the lead couple. “It is going to be very funny,” promises Greig. “For example, we’ve turned all the oh-nos into ayyos,” he laughs.

    Students of KMMC will be performing #itsComplicated on Friday at 7 pm and on Saturday at 1 pm and 7 pm at K M College of Music and Technology, Arumbakkam. Entry is free. Details: 43444786

    —Janane Venkatraman

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