Mirabai: New opera, holograms and eternal love

The project has an existing
relationship with Musion3D, the world leader in cutting edge holographic
technology, which offers unparalleled creative possibilities to engage

This unusual, unique project has already attracted the interest of acclaimed
and multi award winning film director Tony Palmer, who is interested in making
a film of the opera, speaking of its universal appeal and potential for
enormous international success. “Every element of Mirabai is fascinating —
the music, the story, the holograms. This is something which has to be
attempted.” He directed a short film of the Krishna dance scene (a version of
which was shown at the annual Kinetica Art Festival in London) and
appears in a 7 minute video trailer about Mirabai, explaining why he
is passionate about the project.

“I have always been a huge admirer of Tony’s work, and he is the perfect
director for Mirabai,” comments Seaman. “We are grateful for all his
continued belief and support.”

Another fan of the opera is celebrated Russian operatic soprano Marina
Poplavskaya, who recorded the Saraswati hologram.

The Mirabai journey began 5 years ago, during which the project has
benefited from a range of supporters and advocates. So how was the idea
conceived? Seaman reveals, “After a visit to the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan
Mandir London (known as the Neasden Temple) I began to explore the life of
Mira, whose subversive love for her favourite god Krishna was expressed through
her mystic songs and dancing; she sacrificed everything and paid the price.
Born into the Rajput aristocracy in the early 16th century, Mira
incurred disapproval by choosing Krishna above the deity worshipped by the
family into which she had married; and singing and dancing in public in praise
of Krishna was behaviour thought unseemly for a princess. Mira confounded
societal expectations, rejecting materialism for spiritual awareness and
becoming the symbol of a woman who chose her own path and found liberation in
non-violent resistance. ”

With poet, dancer and singer/songwriter Mariam Al-Roubi, the composer has
been creating a spectacular new opera that is a fusion of intoxicating music,
dance, hallucinatory imagery, lighting and pioneering holographic projection to
enhance the dreamlike scenes. Says Seaman, “It is a love story, at the same
time erotic and divine, and underpinned by international cultural and
historical references to emphasise its universal nature, through the Ghosts —
spectral figures from other historical times and places. They shine their own
light on love, and include characters from Plato’s Symposium, St Teresa of
Avila and Argentine tango dancers. The audience does not need to know about
Hinduism, or be familiar with these references for the opera to make sense to
them, because they are used as a means to communicate the deepest and simplest
of human emotions. Like its heroine, Mirabai writes its own rules,
communicating in a musical and theatrical language that is rich and vibrant.”

Mirabai is the third of a trilogy. The first two pieces were large-scale
choral works: The Consoling Song (words in Sanskrit from the Bhagavad Gita;
commissioned by The Brighton Singers and first performed in Brighton UK 2002)
and Bhajans (words by Nimisha Patel and Elizabeth Newman; commissioned by The
Madrigal Choir of Binghamton and first performed in Binghamton NY USA 2007). In
March 2013, The Lake, and Petals, two excerpts from Mirabai, were premiered by
the Ealing Symphony Orchestra.

Act 3 of the opera, in which Mira ascends to Vrindivan, where Krishna
dwells, is almost completed. Exploring opportunities for innovative and
pioneering collaborations with visionary partners is an essential part of the
process in order to reach and engage with the widest possible audience. What is
needed now is an opera company who recognises the power and potential of
Mirabai to attract both existing and new opera and music lovers —
now and for future generations.

To see, hear or find out more about Mirabai, contact Jane Seaman,
Project Development Manager at workingwords50@gmail.com or Tel:
01622 677214 or 07905 825650

image_description=Meera bai [Source: Wikipedia]
product_title=Mirabai: New opera, holograms and eternal love
product_id=Above: Meera bai [Source: Wikipedia]