A masterpiece opera about Gandhi is coming to Melbourne for one night only

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A masterpiece opera about Gandhi is coming to Melbourne for one night only

Gandhi opera
Words by Mia Casey

Directly translated from Sanskrit, Satyagraha means “truth force.” Phillip Glass’s operatic performance Satyagraha, the story of Mahatma Gandhi’s early years of peaceful protest, comes to Hamer Hall Saturday, 13 May.

This Melbourne-exclusive performance from Opera Australia features talent from across the globe. Portraying Mahatma Ghandi is Indian-born Shanul Sharma. Sharma is a tenor who has come from a heavy metal background, but diversified his talents into the world of opera.

Sharma’s debut performance was back in 2014 with Opera Australia, and he became the first principal artist as an Indian-born performer in an Australian Opera.

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Alongside Sharma Helpmann-nominee, Rachelle Durkin will be performing the role of Ghandi’s secretary, Mrs Schlesen. Durkin will not be the only soprano taking the stage – Olivia Cranwell will make her role debut in Satyagraha, in her anticipated return to the Hamer Hall stage. Classic Melbourne deemed Cranwell “exceptionally strong” for her take on Confidante in Elektra the previous year.

Playing the role of Ghandi’s wife is Iranian-born Agnes Sarkis. Her beautiful mezzo-soprano returns to the stage after her performance in Madame Butterfly on Sydney Harbour as the loyal Suzuki.

Satyagraha will also feature the talents of Andrew Moran, Richard Anderson, Sian Sharp and Alexander Sefton, and a four-part chorus performed by Opera Australia. However, what makes Satyagraha unique is that there is no percussion, nor are there any brass instruments. The concept behind Satyagraha is peace; therefore, there will only be strings and woodwind to mimic the gentle nature of the performance.

For one night only, Satyagraha will be striking the audiences with a two-and-a-half-hour show representing the intricacies of Mahatma Gandhi’s early life and his non-violent protests in South Africa.

The performance begins at 7:30 pm, Saturday 13 May, at Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne. Adult tickets are on sale now for $99.

Purchase Tickets to Satyagraha here.