Art And Culture

Puppet Operas on Tehran Stage

Puppet Operas on Tehran StagePuppet Operas on Tehran Stage

Puppet opera shows on eminent Persian poets, and the ritual of Ashura, commemorated by Shi’a Muslims as a day of mourning for the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) at the Battle of Karbala, will be staged by renowned theatre director Behrouz Gharibpour, in the last week of September.

The repertoire includes shows on celebrated Persian poets Sa’di, Molavi (better known as Rumi in Iran) and Hafez; Ashura (the 10th day of Muharram in the Islamic calendar), and ‘Layla and Majnun,’ a love story that originated as a poem in ancient Arabia.

The opera ‘Sa’di’ will be the first performance on September 27, followed by the other four at Ferdowsi Theatre Hall, Mehr news agency quoted Gharibpour as saying.

Aaran Puppet Theatre Group, which is organizing the event, is also working on another performance ‘Khayyam’ (Persian mathematician, astronomer, philosopher and poet).

There is a likelihood of staging ‘Molavi’ on the US stage, as proposed by the International Mevlana Foundation in Turkey that conducts research on the great thinker, scholar and poet Rumi, and talks are going on with US officials, Gharibpour said. “We are seeking the most appropriate venue to stage the show,” he added.

“Layla and Majnun is one of the most challenging shows I’ve worked on,” Gharibpour said.

Gharibpour, 65, is a pioneer of traditional Persian puppet theatre.

He studied theatre at Tehran University and at Dramatic Arts Academy in Rome (Silvio D’Amico). Gharibpour founded Tehran and Esfahan puppet theatre centers and helped establish Iran’s Cultural Centre in Tehran. He has vast experience in writing and directorship in fields such as theatre, puppet theatre, cinema, documentary movies, and TV serials.

He is also known for his research studies on Iranian puppetry during the Qajar era.