Art And Culture

Saadi Opera in the Making

Saadi Opera in the MakingSaadi Opera in the Making

To gain a different perspective on the life and thoughts of the great poet Saadi, Behrouz Gharibpour, who is currently working on the ‘Saadi Puppet Opera’ has invited poets and researchers to review his latest work.

The show will feature 100 puppets, numerous voice actors, and at least 20 distinct roles. The preparation is underway with recording of the music and designing of the puppets, ISNA reported the artist as saying.  

Initially, traditional singer Mohammad Motamedi was chosen for the voice over for the part of Saadi’s role. The singer was on tour however, therefore “there was a hiatus in the recording process.”

Gharibpour, who is also manager of the Aran Puppet Theatre Group, has previously directed several other puppet theatres including ‘Leyli o Majnun’, ‘Ashura’, ‘Macbeth’, ‘Rostam and Sohrab’, ‘Hafiz’, and ‘Molavi’.

The outstanding aspect of his latest work is the musical theme. As Saadi travels through different countries such as Egypt, India, and China the music changes depending on the country he is in.

 Fresh Insight

According to the artist, the opera integrates “details about Saadi which Iranian and foreign researchers have not paid much attention to so far.” It will hopefully provide fresh insight for later Saadi studies. The juxtaposition of history with visual features and music “will also whet the interests of the younger generations to look at Saadi once more.”

Saadi is mostly known as a didactic poet who “delivered impractical moral lectures.” The truth is Saadi’s approach is timeless and can always be reinterpreted from a fresh perspective. “What needs to be done is to reinterpret the thoughts of exemplary dignitaries in new light in order to render them more practical to our contemporary times,” Gharibpour said.

Among other characters, a female counterpart has been introduced to portray Saadi’s temporal love for “charming human beings.” She showers Saadi with mystic guidance and her presence subtly invites the audience to also reflect on the ethereal aspects of love. Roshanak Keymanesh is the designated voice actor for the role.

The opera is scheduled for release in January and the team is working hard to have it ready for the Fajr Theatre Festival. However, if things do not go according to schedule, the opera will be staged in March, he added.