The second anniversary of musical masterpiece of maestro late Premasiri Khemadasa ‘Agni’ (Fire) opera will be celebrated in Negombo with two performances at 4.00 pm and 6.30 pm on May 24, (today) at Negombo Town Hall.
Libretto by award winning writer Eric Illiyapparachchi, ‘Agni’ is based on the legend of Prometheus, an Olympian god who bequest human provided the spark to ignite knowledge, enlightenment.
Set in Sinhalese, ‘Agni’ is a romantic musical drama of extraordinarily complex, rich in meaning, music and structuring. It is a mythology-like story or the discovery of fire, agriculture and craft. The rare and startling voice of fire is provided by a soprano voice in line with the great tradition of opera. Thus this legend of fire broadens the horizon of the Sri Lankan culture itself.
‘Agni’ starts with the pre-historic dark scenario where the fire was not available for the use of mankind. At that time, as the legend goes, the fire was still a privilege of the Gods. One brave man was prepared to sacrifice his life in exchange of fire. At last, his appeal was heard by one kind god named Ginipathi. He himself robbed fire from his own peers by sacrificing his own life and sent this precious asset to the earth through his own sister, Gini Devi (Fire Goddess). The opera end with a tragic tone which critical1y questions the mediocre attitude of the community. Agni demands to be seen by every music lover. It has a cultivated tone quite unknown to the current singing culture of the country.
Sung in truly Sri Lankan voices on Sri Lankan stage, it is a landmark opera composed by the Sri Lanka’s foremost composer not only to express the vivid tonal colours of his monsoon Asia but also to fill the gap hitherto unexplored by the European opera.
Played by nearly twenty five players from both Western and Eastern, the music in ‘Agni’ is a blend of the variety of Western, Eastern and folk.
The opera troupe includes Kamal Addararachchi, Indika Upamali, Subuddi Lakmali, Chamari Sewwandika, Umali Thilakaratna, Krishan Wickremasinghe, Sumudu Pathiraja, Gamini Sarathchandra, Chandimal Hemantha, Marcial Janatha Wageesha Sandamali, Upeshika Wickrema, Bhagya Sanjeewani and Sudarshika Anusha.
The musical troupe include world renowned musicians like Luxman Joseph de Saram and talented Dinesh Subasinghe, Sagara S. Wijesinghe, Gunasena Cooray, Somasiri Baddegama, Thushani Jayawardena, Sulara Nanayakkara, Randeer Mendis, Sanath Pushpakumara and Sujeewa.