SURREY.- Grange Park Opera
, Surrey, has discovered a major work by a major composer.
Sir John Tavener (19442013), who was the one of the most acclaimed British composers of the post-war years, completed his final opera Krishna in 2005. For 14 years it has remained in manuscript form and has never been staged. Until now.
Krishna will be performed for the first time ever in June 2024 at Grange Park Operas Theatre in the Woods. It will be directed by opera-giant Sir David Pountney.
HRH The Prince of Wales had a long friendship with Sir John Tavener and supported the commission of The Beautiful Names in 2007. Sir John once explained what they had in common: "We share views on the importance of all religious traditions."
The opera, Krishna, focuses on the cycle of Krishnas life which is portrayed in 15 vignettes. The text of this two-and-a-half-hour work is Taveners own, expounding a Blakean philosophy that in any part of the universe is the whole universe. The 15 vignettes portray the recurring cycle of Krishnas life - he is born when the earth is crying for help and in the final vignette, the god is assumed into Paradise until the earth needs him again.
The work uses a Celestial Narrator as a bridge between the supernatural and the natural. Tavener wrote He describes each scene in the simplest possible way. He moves freely in the audience, explaining the double meaning, charming, frightening and consoling us. The music is intensely vivid and highly dramatic.
There are challenging aspects to the works staging: Krishna is given a halo of eight flutes (four of them alto flutes) which are to be aerially positioned.
His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, a long-time admirer of Taveners work, asked Sir David Pountney to consider the performance potential of Krishna, after the work had been brought to his attention by Sir Johns widow, Lady Tavener.
Founder & CEO of Grange Park Opera, Wasfi Kani OBE, explains David Pountney brought me the project and within two days I was at Chester Music examining the 358 giant sheets of Taveners manuscript. It quickly became clear this was a masterpiece that needed to be brought to life. We are now actively searching for collaborators to give premières in Europe and, of course, in India. The search for Indian philanthropists begins.