Art And Culture

Homayoun Shajarian to Play Khayam in Gharibpour's Opera

Homayoun Shajarian to Play  Khayam in Gharibpour's OperaHomayoun Shajarian to Play  Khayam in Gharibpour's Opera

Persian classical music vocalist and player of tombak (goblet drum) and kamancheh (Iranian bowed string instrument) Homayoun Shajarian, 40, will play the role of Persian poet, mathematician, astronomer and philosopher Omar Khayam (1048-1131) in an upcoming opera.

'Khayam Opera' is the latest vocal performance planned by Iranian theater director and pioneer of traditional puppet theater Behzad Gharibpour, 65.

The opera is being composed by musician Amir Behzad, who told Mehr News agency that due to financial constraints "our progress has been slow."

It is expected to be staged at the 5th Festival of City Theater in Tehran slated for September 12-20.

But the delay has given Gharibpour and Behzad enough time to bring out the best in the work. They tested over 40 new but talented singers in various roles. "With Gharibpour's meticulousness and my sensitivity to the ambiance of the performance, we're trying to select singers fit for an opera, because this is of great importance in a musical performance of literary works," Behzad said.

Gharibpour has written and directed other operas including on Molana, Ashura and Hafez, before taking up his current work.

About the celebrated poet Behzad said, "Khayam is an international poet. He is among the most famous of our prominent poets. Due to his global fame, we tried to use international music notations in addition to Iranian modal systems of music. The result could be very interesting for the audience."

"Shajarian is presently abroad and as soon as he returns the recording for the opera will start. There is a possibility that some parts will be recorded abroad by foreign companies," he added.

Gharibpour founded the Tehran and Esfahan puppet theater centers and is known for his wide research works on Iranian puppetry as was commonly practiced during the Qajar era (1785-1925).

He has won several awards including the Hans Christian Andersen Award 2002 and Sirene d'Oro 2008 from Italy's puppet theater festival of Arrivano dal mare.