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Classical 101

Ravi Shankar's Unfinished Opera, 'Sukanya' Finally Completed

Yehui Menuhin and Ravi Shankar collaborating.

An opera begun by Indian musician and composer Ravi Shankar, and left unfinished at the time of his passing in 2012, has been completed by his collaborator, conductor David Murphy with musical help from Shankar's daughter Anoushka.  

She is a virtuoso sitar player of classical Indian music just as her father was.  The recent press launch states that the opera Sukanya will premier in England next May.  

Writer Edward Greenfield of The Guardian once said that "If East has to meet West, then few musicians have received it with such open joy as Ravi Shankar."  

Joy and exhilaration were certainly the impressions I received as a young fellow when I bought the LP"West Meets East" with Ravi Shankar playing the sitar and violinist Yehudi Menuhin.  Their collaboration in a piece that Shankar wrote was based on a classical Indian raga and featured dazzling playing from both musicians that immediately made me a fan of Ravi (and later, of Yehudi as well, but that's another story).

The opera Sukanya begun when the composer was 90— blends Eastern and Western traditions and promises to be a fascinating cross-cultural voyage, from not only a master of traditional Indian classical music, but also an innovator who has sometimes been called the "Father of World Music."