Step into a world where the ancient Mahabharata epic meets the artistic brilliance of Johan Othman’s new opera, Malam Takdir.
Produced by Five Arts Centre, this new performance art, originally presented as a play in Penang in 2019 under the direction of Chee Sek Thim, now takes the front stage as a thrilling operatic experience.
It dives into the depths of the human psyche, portraying a striking portrayal of hope, betrayal, fate, and personal decision, and stars Hilyati Ramli, Noor Rizuwan Zolkepli, Tan Jin Yin, Kabilan, Desmond Ngooi, Teoh Chee Lin, and Wong Wei Hern. The opera is supported by Yayasan Sime Darby and Creador Foundation.
Malam Takdir weaves a complicated web of emotions through an imagined conversation between the blind king and his trusty advisor, set against an imminent conflict that will claim the lives of the blind king’s 100 sons.
Despite understanding the awful outcome that awaits his loving children, the blind monarch allows the battle to continue, motivated by an ambitious wager with fate. This moving debate transcends time and place, showing the delicate interaction between fate’s hand and humanity’s unyielding will.
Johan Othman’s brilliant work builds a beautiful musical tapestry for Malam Takdir, interwoven with the performers’ own creative input.
The mesmerising opera’s backbone is rhythmic clapping and the artistic fabrication of sound, which complements the soul-stirring arias penned for Tan Jin Yin’s soprano voice. The music is set to seamlessly draw the audience into the heart of this wonderful narrative with a mesmerising ‘a capella’ presentation.
Malam Takdir gives new life to a story based on classical texts that reverberate throughout Southeast Asia. This operatic miracle deftly mixes music, movement, and the national language to reinvigorate traditions, giving our valued cultural legacy new life.
Prepare to be enthralled as Malam Takdir traverses time and space, giving a modern expression that honours our shared heritage.
Malam Takdir will be staged at KOMTAR, Penang from 21 to 23 July 2023 and will be performed at PJPAC from 5 to 6 August 2023. Purchase your tickets here.
Cover image supplied by Five Arts Centre.