Romantic India

Klaus Karttunen Kjkarttu at ELO.HELSINKI.FI
Wed Jun 17 09:54:25 UTC 1998

Dear friends
A few months ago someone briefly referred  to "Shubert's
opera Sakuntala". Finding the note I made then I have tried to check
it. Supposing Franz Schubert was meant, a list of his (nearly
forgotten) operas does not including anything Indian. Shubert I do
not know. There is at least one opera founded on KAlidAsa's play,
namely Franco Alfano's La leggenda di Sakuntala, première at Bologna
town opera in 10.12.1921. Much earlier the Hungarian componist Karl
Goldmark composed a ZakuntalA ouverture, first performed in 1865.
There is further an opera about the VikamorvazIya by W. Kienzl,
performed in the 1880s "mit Erfolg" according to a contemporary
source. All these have been forgotten, I have not been able to hear a
note of them.There are also a few ballets on Indian themes, for
instance on ZakuntalA (music by S. Bachrich, performed in Vienna
1884; and another by Reyer, performed in Paris, I don't know when).
To these may be also added Elgar's Indian Suite, the only one I have
actually heard.
Strictly speaking, this is not Indology, but nevertheless an
interesting part of the Western conception of India. It would be
interesting to know, whether there are more examples.

Klaus Karttunen

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