Our first opera to begin its run soon

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's first opera – M! The Opera – is finally coming to fruition.  

The elaborate production, which will start its week-long run from March 23 at Istana Budaya, is the brainchild of award-winning composer Saidah Rastam who was inspired to create a work that reflects present-day Kuala Lumpur. 

“My inspiration is the electricity of what's happening here. I am a KL girl and these are the things we do here,” she told a press conference to announce the production.  

RESOUNDING LAUNCH: M! The Operabeing launched by (from left) Yayasan Budi PenyayangMalaysia CEO Leela Mohd Ali, the opera’s executive director Sunita Rajkumar, Culture, Artsand Heritage Ministry chief secretary Datuk Siti Azizah Abod, Khir, Yeo and Nori in KualaLumpur yesterday.

The opera is set amid the flamboyant fashion industry and revolves around a young fashion designer, M, whose newly-found fame is being challenged by a younger designer, Kerabat.  

The plot thickens with a love connection involving Sepi, M's muse and childhood friend.  

The opera, directed by Jo Kukathas, features a score that fuses Western and Asian sounds, and costumes by Dominique Devorsine.  

“Saidah was intrigued by the idea of beauty and inspiration and the idea of a muse,” said theatre personality Jit Murad, the librettist for the production. “It also gives a lot of visual opportunity.” 

Leading the cast is local actor Khir Rahman and newcomer Doreen Tang, who plays M and Sepi. Playing the role of Kerabat is Singaporean George Chan. 

The cast also includes singer and actress Maizurah Hamzah, VJ Paula Malai Ali and veteran Azean Irdawaty.  

M! The Opera, dedicated to the late Datin Paduka Seri Endon Mahmood, was launched by Nori Abdullah, chairperson of Yayasan Budi Penyayang Malaysia, who has helped bring the show to the stage. 

Also present at the press conference on Monday was Tan Sri Francis Yeoh, group managing director of YTL Corporation Bhd, the presenting sponsor for M! The Opera

“You need a convergence of a few leaders to push the performing arts forward,” said Yeoh.  

“I feel there is so much energy in KL.” 

M! The Opera runs until April 1. Tickets are priced between RM20 and RM150.  

For bookings, call 03-7726 2002 (Ticketcharge) or log on to www.ticket2u.biz  

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