The world premiere the chamber opera, "Phoolan Devi: The Bandit Queen," at Holy Cross in 2008.
In a recent article in The Hindu, an Indian daily newspaper, Shirish Korde, professor of music at the College of the Holy Cross, shared his insights regarding Phoolan Devi, an important historical figure in India and the subject of an opera, titled “Phoolan Devi: The Bandit Queen.”
Having premiered at the College in 2008 “Phoolan Devi” has gone on to great success, as it will be performed in New York’s Lynch Theatre in the spring of 2014. Devi, who in was shot dead in New Delhi in 2001, was a controversial figure who has been viewed as a victim of social injustice, an avenger and a savvy politician. Reflecting on the task of setting her life’s details to music, Korde said, “The themes in her life: violence, retribution, transformation, myth, class were all fascinating… in fact, ideal dramatic material for an opera.”
Even though Korde wrote the opera several years ago, the Bandit Queen’s life remains fresh in his imagination. “Phoolan Devi’s story raises difficult and universal questions about violence and women,” he explained. “Artistically speaking, it is a great challenge and very rewarding to bring this multi-discipline East/West collaboration to fruition,” he continued.
Still in its workshop phase, “Phoolan Devi” is co-sponsored by the Indo-American Arts Council (IAAC) and Da Capo Chamber Players. Directed by Tom Diamond, choreographed by Nandini Sikand and with a libertoo by Anushree Roy, Korde’s music compositions remain prominent.
This ‘Holy Cross in the News’ item by David Cotrone ’13.