New Delhi: What does friendship mean? A group of youngsters from India will be joined by contemporaries from six countries in interpreting this universal question through a grand operatic production for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
"The Friendship Oratorio" to be staged by Scotland's national opera company will feature 100 young people and emerging artists from seven Commonwealth countries and is based on their stories about what friendship means to them.
Author Alexander McCall Smith, famous for his "No 1 Ladies Detective Agency" crime fiction series, has been roped in to pen the opera, according to Fiona Hyslop, the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Scotland.
Fiona announced this after recently visiting a school here and meeting youngsters who could be participating in the opera.
Aged between 14 years to 26 years, an 18 member cast had staged the play "Finding Me" that explored issues faced by young people in India for Hysold and delegates from Scotland .
"For the past two months we had been exploring issues like identity crises and the choices, be it about branded clothes, substance abuse, peer pressure, or merely selecting friends, that young people are confronted with every day. 'Finding Me' was outcome of that workshop," says Puneeta Roy, Founder Trustee and Executive Director, Tehelka Foundation.
The body has been working with the Scottish Opera for the "The Friendship Oratorio".
The Opera will also bring together young people and emerging artists from participating countries India, Botswana, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, Australia and Scotland.
Scottish Opera's director of education, Jane Davidson, says, "The whole team is really looking forward to continuing this hugely exciting project in India. We will be asking people of all ages to share their thoughts and experiences of friendship to help spark ideas for the musical and dramatic structure of The Friendship Oratorio."
Meanwhile, Scottish Cabinet Secretary Fionna says she is delighted with the association of master storyteller Smith.
"His libretto will provide the framework for a musical exploration of a unique aspect of human nature- the ability to bond with one another across social, economic, geographical, cultural, sexual, religious and generational divides," she says. MORE