Conference of the Birds
a workshop performance
The Birds are Coming!
Get ready to be entranced by the original sound and movement of the Conference of the Birds. From November 20th - 22nd, the birds will be alighting on the Wawasan Open University stage in Penang, and will entertain and provoke you with their journey to enlightenment.
Conference of the Birds is a contemporary operatic interpretation of a poem written in Persian by the 12th century poet, Farid ud-Din Attar.
The poem describes the search of a group of birds for a leader: it is an allegory of a Sufi sheikh or master leading his pupils to enlightenment. This production is a loose interpretation of the poem, using sound and movement to tell the story.
“The idea of a journey as a process of searching, attracts me as a simple but a powerful one that is universally understood. To journey to another place in search of a better life or condition is one of the fundamental motivations of our human condition. It transcends place, time and culture” (Chee Sek Thim, director).
Details (3 shows):
20 - 21 November 2009 @ 8:30pm
22 November 2009 @ 3.00pm
Venue: Wawasan Open University, Theatre 1, Level 5, Pulau Pinang.
Entry by donation: RM20 (adults) & RM10 (students).
Available from Sentuhan, 90 Armenian Street (016-4733483); Penang Heritage Trust, 26 Lebuh Gereja (04-2642631); or James Lochhead at 016 4846042.
For more information, please have a look at the project blog at http://birdsconf.wordpress.com.
Creative + Production Team
Composer & Musical Director: Johan Othman, Universiti Sains Malaysia
Director: Chee Sek Thim, Five Arts Centre
Libretto: William Radice, School of Oriental and African Studies, London
Graphic Designer: Goh Hun Meng
Executive Producer: Marion D'Cruz
Penang Producer: James Lochhead
Production Manager: Adrian Teh Eu-Weng
Publicity Managers: James Lochhead & Mark Teh
Press Preview Stories
"Trilling flight of Persian poetry" - Rachel Jesudason, New Sunday Times, 15 November 2009.
"Conference of the Birds in flight" - Nick Choo, The Nut Graph, 19 November 2009.
"Language of the Birds" - Rizal Johan, The Star, 20 November 2009.
"On a deeper level" - Rachel Jesudason, New Sunday Times, 14 December 2009.
"An enlightened journey" - Lena Lie, Off The Edge, March 2010.