From a time of colossal horror springs a work of immense compassion.
It has been almost four decades since the fall of Phnom Penh to the Khmer Rouge. Bangsokol is the first major symphonic work to address this legacy of pain and will premiere at Melbourne Festival before performances at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and Philharmonie de Paris.
The 1970s saw an entire generation of Cambodian artists torn from the world, but in the years since a growing community has formed to bring new expression to a culture still devastated by unimaginable events. The tradition of the requiem is proof that some of the greatest and most uplifting works of art have been born of the darkest events, and Bangsokol joins their number as an extraordinary new work spanning song, film, dance and speech.
Acclaimed filmmaker Rithy Panh and renowned composer Him Sophy are both survivors of the years of massacre, and have gathered an international host of collaborators to produce a work that fuses the traditional bangsokol—a Buddhist rite bringing peace to the dead—with the Western requiem. The result is an unprecedented work that transforms tragedy into hope and carves out a new space in which to heal.
It is a ritual tribute to the more than two million Cambodians murdered, created by an unprecedented team of international collaborators including childhood survivors of the regime.
The Missing Picture by Rithy Panh
Sun 08 October, 4.45PM
THE ARTS AFTER CONFLICT: REFLECTIONS ON CAMBODIA
Tue 10 October, 6PM
Sidney Myer Asia Centre (Building 158), 761 Swanston St, The University of Melbourne, Parkville
Panel Discussion hosted by the University of Melbourne.
Panelists— Director Rithy Panh, Phloeun Prim (Executive Director, Cambodian Living Arts) and Professor Margaret Kartomi (musicologist of southeast Asia, Monash University) in conversation with Rachel Hughes (Research Fellow, The University of Melbourne)
MEET THE CREATORS
Sat 14 October, 6.30PM
Hamer Hall, Stalls Foyer—pre-show
Join director Rithy Panh and Composer Him Sophy in conversation with AsiaTOPA Creative Director Stephen Armstrong as they discuss A Requiem for Cambodia: Bangsokol.
- Rithy Panh—ACADEMY AWARD® Nominee
- Him Sophy
- Trent Walker
- Stage Director
- Gideon Obarzanek
- Music Direction & Conducting
- Andrew Cyr
- Costume Design
- Romyda Keth
- Lighting Design
- Benjamin 'Bosco' Shaw
- Co-commissioned by
- Cambodian Living Arts
- The Office performing arts + film
- Original Idea
- Charley Todd
- Vocal soloists
- Chhorn Sam Ath & Him Savy
- Cambodian Ensemble
- Keo Dorivan, Keo Sonankavei, Keo Sophy, Pov Reaksmeymony, Say Tola & Sngoun Kavei Serey Roth
- Taipei Philharmonic Chamber Choir
- Performer & Assistant to the Director of Staging
- Chumvan ‘Belle’ Sodhachivy
Additional commissioning support provided by The Rainbow Initiative, Ministry of Culture Taiwan (R.O.C.), Taipei Philharmonic Foundation, Ford Foundation & Institute of International Education, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Australian Embassy in Cambodia, Arts Centre Melbourne, and BAM 2017 Next Wave Festival.
Cambodian Living Arts would like to thank Metropolis Ensemble and Andrew CYR for their ongoing support and commitment to the development of the work.
PHOTO | Tey Tat Keng