ENGLISH ENO OPERA: “Gaddafi: A Living Myth” 2006

Muammar el Qaddafi: The Opera
IN REVIEW > INTERNATIONAL
 

Gaddafi: A Living Myth

LONDON
English National Opera
9/7/06

opera news

Turner and Tikaram, Reagan and Gaddafi at ENO


Classical and Opera Reviews

Gaddafi: A Living Myth

by  | 1 September 2006

gaddafi opera

With Gaddafi: A Living Myth, English National Opera has succeeded in reaching a new audience.

Whatever its shortcomings as a work of art, and some people are going to hate this production, Gaddafi: A Living Myth is a breath of fresh air at the London Coliseum.

Whether it’s an opera, a musical or something else entirely, this new show raises questions that are much more important about the world we live in.
The ENO has gone all political. Two months ago on the stage of the Coliseum we saw Richard Nixon and Mao Tse Tung in Nixon in China. Now we have impersonations of Colonel Gaddafi, Ronald Reagan and a comical portrayal of Tony Blair (hardly a massive leap for most people to make).

As with the John Adams work, this is not a naturalistic portrayal of figures from recent political history. The work written by Shan Khan and with music by Asian Dub Foundation and Diaspora is unlike anything else you will have seen on this stage.

With a pounding beat that hardly lets up all evening, Gaddafi mixes the orchestra of the ENO (minus woodwind) with the members of ADF and a handful of Middle Eastern musicians. It’s highly amplified and uses taped loops, hip hop and drum n’ bass. For opera audiences still reeling from the shock of the recent introduction of surtitles, it’s all very new. Not only do they have to deal with being able to understand what they’re seeing in conventional opera now but they are being encouraged to step outside their usual terms of reference.

Not that the first night audience saw many of the opera regulars. There was an eclectic mix, many of whom I suspect hadn’t stepped through these doors of high culture before.

While the Western politicians are rather ridiculed with almost Spitting Image impersonations, the “hero” of the piece is portrayed in a way that he’s not usually seen in the West, even in these days of thawed relations. There’s Gaddafi as a loving family man, a man who meditates, a peaceful revolutionary, a politician who is prepared to resign out of disgust with the corruption in his own government. How seriously we are supposed to take this romanticised version of the man I’m not sure. We also see Gaddafi the tyrant, who liquidates his dissident opponents, is implicated in terrorist acts and opportunistically gives the West what it wants (a show trial of the Lockerbie suspects). Then there’s “Gaddafi Superstar”, the egotist revelling in the cult of personality. Finally we see a white silhouette, inviting us to fill in the blanks ourselves, Gaddafi the Enigma.

What all this does is ask us to put aside the prejudices of decades of misinformation and propaganda and see personalities and events from a different viewpoint. That’s badly needed and very timely in these days of fragile world relations. If we’re to avoid out and out hostility, we’re going to need to step into other people’s shoes and try and understand them on their own terms.

Gaddafi: A Living Myth isn’t a tightly-constructed piece of play-making. It uses the device of a news reporter commentating on events to help fill some of the gaps as the action jumps around the decades – 1986 to 1969, back to Gaddafi’s bunker during the US air raids, then 1970. This is a series of set-pieces showing aspects of the man rather than a coherent narrative. It doesn’t succeed in steering clear of clich at times, with the simplistic observation that the West’s only interest in the Middle East is its oil. If it offends sophisticated artistic, as well as some political, sensibilities with its naivety, that’s no bad thing and probably what its creators intended.

The production is often imaginative, which is to be expected from director David Freeman, who has a history of exciting opera work and has been missing from the London scene for far too long. The use of projections and graphics with stage designs by Es Devlinand Chloe Lamford is effective.

There are some problems with amplification levels, meaning the words are often difficult to follow (there are no surtitles this time). Not that the text, spoken not sung, is unmissable. Much of it is in rhyming couplets which sounds dangerously like doggerel at times.

There’s a quite charismatic performance of the Libyan leader from Ramon Tikaram, who struts about the stage like a cross between Henry V and Richard III, both hero and monster. There is an earnestness about some of the supporting performances at times that is close to laughable but also some well-timed humour (“Every Mad Dog has its day”).

Gaddafi plays for just five more performances and, wherever you’re coming from, I would urge you to see it for yourself. It’s a meeting of different cultures, artistic and social, and there’s not enough of that in the world today.

Gaddafi: A Living Myth



Hi all.

‘Gaddafi: A Living Myth’ is a new production from English National
Opera and the Asian Dub Foundation.

Fusing contemporary, classical and world music stlyes it is an intense
and provocative exploration of the man and era that is ‘Gaddafi’.

Check out http://www.eno.org/gaddafi for more info on the production which
opens at the Coliseum on the 7th of September and is running for 6
performances!

This show delves into some of the most controversial political debates
of our time and is a must see for 2006!

News: Opera


Photo Journal: Is It Even an Opera? English National Opera’s Gaddafi: A Living Myth Befuddles Critics

11 September 2006 

Scenes from Gaddafi at ENO, with Ramon Tikaram in the title role and Sharon Duncan-Brewster as Fatima.
photo by Sarah Lee/English National Opera

“The old guard were cowering in their seats as the huge bass frequencies boomed out. Singing was conspicuous by its absence … All we tended to get was a bit of shouting.” (The Telegraph)

“It’s not really an opera but could well become the Evita of this decade — a slick, sardonic and cynical treatment of recent history.” (The Times)

“A breath of fresh air … raises questions that are much more important about the world we live in.” (musicOMH)

“It is not exactly opera but it makes the perfect PC (Politically Correct) musical.” (The Independent)

“A total failure … the kind of ill-conceived insult to one’s intelligence which leaves you reeling at the thought that the ENO could have supported it. (GramophoneOnline)

“Clumsy rhyme ruins for me, a daft tale of Tripoli” (headline in the Financial Times)

“A few brief songs emerged like brilliant shooting stars out of the aural putty, but the rest seemed to echo Bombay Dreamspickled with Holst’s The Planets and a dash of crunk rap.” (Evening Standard)

“No show this weird can be truly bad.” (Associated Press)
Therewith, a sampling of the reception that English National Opera‘s season-opening production received in the press over the weekend.
“The audience isn’t going to know what’s hit them. It’s not necessarily going to be a comfortable evening, but it will be a highly contentious, visceral experience.” That was ENO artistic director John Berry, quoted by the AP last week, anticipating reaction to Gaddafi: A Living Myth.

He got that right.

The work was commissioned by ENO from Asian Dub Foundation, a music collective variously described as “dance/hip-hop,” “exotic electronica” and “raga/rap.” The music was composed for the strings and brass of the ENO orchestra, plus Arabic lutes and drums and various electronic beats, by the Foundation’s Steve Chandra Savale (a/k/a “Chandrasonic”). The project was billed as the world’s first rap opera when it was announced; in the event, the rapper engaged to play the Libyan leader pulled out (replaced by a popular television star), and the text is mostly spoken, or shouted, over the instrumental score.

Gaddafi was one of several seemingly radical ideas undertaken by Berry’s predecessor, Seán Doran — who was ousted as ENO artistic director last year amid increasing turmoil within the company — to attract to the house audience members who normally wouldn’t consider going to the opera, a pastime associated with upper-class poshness even more in England than in the US.

(Of the other such ideas Doran had, the ones that went over best were a 2004 concert performance of Act II of Wagner’s Die Walküre at the Glastonbury Festival, an outdoor rock event, and engaging filmmaker Anthony Minghella to direct Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. The latter staging was a major hit, and has been imported by the Metropolitan Opera to open its 2006-07 season on September 25.)

It’s too soon to tell whether new audiences are coming to the Coliseum to see Gaddafi (it runs in repertory through September 16), let alone whether they’ll come back to see La traviata or even Philip Glass’s Satyagraha.

But observers can, and do, argue about the work’s quality and whether or not it belongs in the opera house. Most of the critics have plenty of praise for actor Ramon Tikaram’s charisma and stage presence in the title role. But the rhymed-couplet libretto by Shan Khan was heaped with blistering scorn: “a sprawling series of bloody episodes,” wrote the Evening Standard‘s critic, “heavy on tendentious flab, short on drama.”

And is it an opera or not? Composer Savale told The Telegraph: “In terms of structure it is operatic, although there is no operatic singing. But it deals with some big, universal themes through the medium of music, so perhaps it is. But a question we are asking is why should opera sound a particular way?”

Scenes from Gaddafi at ENO, with Ramon Tikaram in the title role. (And yes, that’s supposed to be Ronald Reagan at upper left.)
photo by Sarah Lee/English National Opera


  1. Canadian Opera Company goes hip-hop – Canada.com

    7 mai 2008 – Britain’s English National Opera production of hip-hop fusion “Gaddafi: A Living Myth” in 2006, met mixed reviews. Hip hopera is just another 

First Night: Gaddafi: A living myth, English National Opera,

London

Not exactly opera, but it makes the perfect PC musical

FRIDAY 08 SEPTEMBER 2006

Wheels grind slow in the opera world, and sometimes all the better for it. Three years ago, Steve “Chandrasonic” Savale persuaded the then boss of English National Opera to commission his raga-rap Asian Dub Foundation to create a piece about Muammar Gaddafi. Time passed, the boss was sacked, more gestation-time was granted, and the world moved on: the easy political certainties of 2003 gave way to the swirling doubt by which we’re now surrounded, where friends and foes are hard to tell apart.

As Savale points out in his programme note, there’s a plethora of ways in which we can view Gaddafi: brutal tyrant and purveyor of terrorism? Misrepresented national hero, anti-imperialist champion of the oppressed? Or just a marginal figure whom oil has thrust into the limelight? What Savale claims to offer – and what the Libyan embassy bought tickets en masse last night to see – is an “audio-visual re-imagining of the myth”.

It’s clear from the outset that we’re in for a very fast canter through 80 years of history, and designer Es Devlin wastes no time. Her notion of Libya is as a blank canvas, on which Gaddafi is given licence to paint. Each new political event invites a new layer of paper, plus a fresh flurry of video projections. History is made and remade. And it works: different coloured lights seen through incised paper make a dainty palace for King Idris, which cuts immediately to the Six Day War done in giant headlines with archive footage of fighting in the desert.

Warned by director David Freeman that this is not a musical, and that “there’s not much singing in it”, one can readily accept that this is basically a spoken drama plus soundtrack. It begins pretty creakily, like an old-fashioned son et lumiere, but soon builds momentum.

Ramon Tikaram’s blustering Gaddafi – with a hint of depressive, paranoid depths – intones his lines (which have more than a touch of the Rupert Bear) over a pre-recorded drumming track, and at moments is almost endearing. But though no “composer” is credited, this is very much Asian Dub Foundation’s show. As part of our aural furniture, their style is a known quality, and it’s both loud and crude: when the massed strings in the pit come in at the beginning, backed by synthesised sound from elsewhere, one feels almost sorry for the little figures on stage, miked though they are.

So will this work, as ENO boss John Berry avers, “redefine opera”? Hardly. But if some West End producer is looking for an impeccably PC musical, this could be it.

Gaddafi: A Living Myth at the English National Opera – 2 Reviews < Prev  Next >
Posted By: Mon Sep 18, 2006 6:45 am  |
Neither a hit nor a myth
By Anna Picard, The Independent, 17 September 2006It was fitting that before the premiere of Gaddafi: A Living Myth, no
one involved in this unlikely collaboration between Asian Dub
Foundation, playwright Shan Khan, and English National Opera could
agree on a term to describe the finished product. Asked whether his
score was operatic, ADF’s Steve Chandra Savale, who admitted little
knowledge of the art-form but professed himself interested in it “as
a concept”, fired back: “Well, what is opera?” Meanwhile, the ENO
website issued an optimistic advertisement for “an exhilarating
collision of live music, theatre, and film”.

Oiled by unprecedented media attention, the opening night of Gaddafi
saw a heavily papered house drawn from backgrounds as “diverse” as
Notting Hill, Hampstead and Islington. Opera-lovers unaccustomed to
pop music started using terms like hip hop, ragga and dub with
passable fluency. Still, no one could agree on what it was they had
seen. Springtime for Gaddafi? Don’t Cry For Me, Ronald Reagan?
Muammar Mia? Gaddafi Superstar? (this was a line repeated several
times on stage.) Was it a musical? Music theatre? Or simply a
headline-grabbing folly?

Orchestrated by no less than three ghost-composers, Savale’s score is
based on a bedrock of bass guitar, drums and sampled sound-effects,
with plaintive esclamazione for electric violin and oud, and the odd
interjection of a harmonic minor scale from the ENO orchestra. There
is little singing, though Sharon Duncan-Brewster (Fatima) delivers
her numbers prettily, punchily and with a clarity of diction that
eludes most of the non-singing cast. Act I is constructed as though
for a CD, and the change of tone and tempo between each number is
artful. Act II, however, flounders as miserably as the libretto.

Where Alice Goodman used the concentrate of a diplomatic visit for
her psychological analysis of Richard Nixon, Khan assays a history of
modern Libya. In a series of flashbacks from the Tripoli bombings of
1986, Act I touches on the Italian annexation of 1911 (“Feel the boot
of the North!”), the assassination of Omar Al-Mukhtar, the Six Day
War, and the 1969 coup. Act II covers the shooting of Yvonne
Fletcher, the 1986 Berlin disco bombing (described in the libretto as
responsible for the death of “one American Serviceman”, when two
servicemen and a Turkish civilian were killed, 230 injured, and 50
left permanently disabled), the destruction of Pan Am Flight 103 over
Lockerbie, and, finally, Gaddafi’s meeting with Tony Blair in 2004.
(“We’re both living in a state of emergency. Urgent measures are
needed to save our democracy.”)

Khan’s biographical tableaux bring us no closer to a man variously
described as visionary or mad. Though mention is made of Gaddafi’s
donations to the IRA and the UDA, his human rights record is fudged,
and the device of using a foreign correspondent to report off-stage
events is dreadfully lazy. Gaddafi’s monologues, largely written in
couplets, are yet more problematic. Here’s the Penguin Dictionary of
Literary Terms on rhyme: “It echoes sound and is thus a source of
aesthetic satisfaction.” Really? It’s almost impossible to make lines
such as “I can sense the bombs from afar, the desert wind is my only
working radar” (emphasis on the final syllable) sound less than
unaesthetic. Especially if, like Ramon Tikaram, whose physical
impersonation of Gaddafi is well observed, you deliver them in the
style of Ian McShane declaiming King Lear in a nightclub.

Though director David Freeman and designer Es Devlin have done their
best to make Gaddafi a polished production, Hakeem Onibudo’s gauche
choreography undermines their efforts. The Revolutionary Nuns bump
and grind like dance-hall queens, making their “sweet leader” appear
as fatuous as Ali G, which is very much at odds with the awkward
business of depicting Lockerbie and the death of Yvonne Fletcher.
Given the limitations of the libretto, and its simplistic moral
equivalence, I doubt Freeman could have handled these moments more
tastefully. Still, I am surprised that footage of Fletcher’s murder,
hitherto unbroadcast by the BBC, was shown on stage.

If Gaddafi: A Living Myth does little to demythologise its subject,
it does reveal the cowardice of ENO in dealing with this unhappy
bequest from its former artistic director. For all the bluster
about “redefining opera”, I’d be amazed if the company did not fully
expect Gaddafi to bomb, especially after three years of workshops,
and the loss of two directors.

Springtime for Muammar
By Karla Adam, Newsweek, Sept. 13, 2006

Brian Green was stunned at what he saw when he opened the heavy oak
doors at the English National Opera. The 44-year-old opera singer is
no stranger to the high arts, but on this particular opening night he
was agog at who he saw milling about in the ornate lobby: senior
citizens in black tie, teenagers in cargo pants and a significant
number of twentysomethings wearing flip-flops.

The diverse crowd had congregated for the highly anticipated hip-hop
opera “Gaddafi: A Living Myth” which runs through Sept. 16. At worst
it may sound like a joke, at best a cheesy Mel Brooks knockoff. But
this—dare we call it a “hip-hopera?”—is neither. The story follows
the life of Col. Muammar Kaddafi, the leader of Libya since 1969. The
soundtrack is built on ragga-jungle rhythms (an electronic form of
reggae), and if this sounds nothing like a typical night out at the
opera, well that’s the point.

So if the new work was meant to shock, then it succeeded. Critics
around London were left sputtering their wine as they grappled with
the rap-staccato singing over the brash and synthesized score by the
Asian Dub Foundation, a popular electro-punk collective. The
Telegraph gleefully reported that the “old guard were cowering in
their seats” while the Independent sniffed that the music was “loud
and crude.” The Times of London noted that while critics had
different things to say about the opera, “all agreed it was
completely bonkers.”

There is more to the opera than just the outre score, of course. This
is, after all, the story of a man Ronald Reagan once called “the mad
dog of the Middle East.” Played convincingly by Ramon Tikaram, the
fictionalized Kaddafi tends to surround himself with a cadre of
Amazonian female bodyguards who occasionally bust out a hip-hop
dance. The rest of the large, multiethnic cast play a variety of
roles—Reagan, Tony Blair, Islamic terrorists and Kaddafi’s kids among
them—to track the Libyan leader’s meteoritic rise from a poor boy
born in a tent in the desert to a man once high on America’s list of
dangerous tyrants.

But for all its roaring energy, there are several blunders. The plot
unfurls in disparate vignettes—Kaddafi plays soccer with his sons in
one scene, hosts Tony Blair in a Bedouin tent in another—and they
fail to sew together a compelling narrative or even offer new insight
into Kaddafi’s psyche. The plot is paper-thin and there is little
conflict or suspense to push it forward.

This may not matter as much as it should. Although the opera was, for
the most part, critically panned on opening night, by its third
performance it had sold out. When artistic director John Berry was
asked minutes before the opening curtain what he hoped to achieve, he
told NEWSWEEK, “I hope this draws a new and diverse audience.” Given
the sheer number of hipsters trampling in off the street, the English
National Opera may well consider this one a success.

Opera

Gaddafi: A Living Myth

Coliseum, London

1 out of 5
Ramon Tikaram in Gaddafi: A Living Myth, ENO

Ramon Tikaram in Gaddafi: A Living Myth, ENO. Photograph: Tristram Kenton

English National Opera open their new season with an evening of unclassifiable music theatre.

Gaddafi: A Living Myth is part contemporary opera, part pop musical, and part cross-cultural dance track, with a score composed by Asian Dub Foundation, a libretto by Shan Khan and a production masterminded by director David Freeman.

It’s a brave attempt to create a vision for new opera in 2006 by dramatising the life of one of today’s most controversial politicians, but sadly the evening is never more than a hodgepodge of musical and cultural influences, with the amplified ENO orchestra augmented by the guitars and ouds of the Third Universal Band and an accompaniment of sampled beats.

The problem is that the story fails to answer the question that Ramon Tikaram’s Gadafy poses in his first entrance: “Who am I?” Instead of setting Khan’s text to music, ADF tell the Gadafy story with actors declaiming their words over the score, conducted by James Morgan. All of the characters, from Ben Bishop’s oleaginous Mr Mister, the embodiment of US imperialism, to Nicholas Khan’s Major Jalloud, have to shout their lines. It doesn’t help that the libretto inhabits an uneasy middle ground between rhyming doggerel and rap, so the characters are never more than one-dimensional stereotypes.

The story-telling is an uncomfortable mix of political hectoring and history lesson – the first half confusingly cuts between Gadafy in his bunker in 1986 during the American raids, the discovery of oil in Libya in the 50s, and the days before the coup in 1969 – and the show never decides whether it’s exploring the psychology of Libya’s leader or commenting on today’s political situation.

The staging has some neat ideas, using paper screens to project a kaleidoscopic video track, but it has some risible moments that look and sound like a Middle Eastern version of Springtime for Hitler. The production really loses its way in the second half, building to a messy climax with Tony Blair’s 2004 meeting with Gadafy. The most profound thing the show says is reserved for the final moments, when Gadafy says to the audience: “If I wasn’t here, you’d need an actor to play me.” Gaddafi may be a living myth, but it’s dead music theatre.

· In rep until September 16. Box office: 0870 145 0200.

Gaddafi: a living miss

ENO‘s attempt to piggy back off the trendiness of the Asian Dub Foundation reeks of cynicism and fear

Ramon Tikaram in Gaddafi: A Living Myth

World leader pretend… Ramon Tikaram in Gaddafi: A Living Myth. Photograph: Tristram Kenton
On Friday night, English National Opera launched its new season with a bold experiment: a new work that is a collaboration between the company and the hip-hop artists Asian Dub Foundation.Gaddafi: A Living Myth created an extraordinary buzz of anticipation before its opening night, more media interest than the company can ever remember for a production. Its first night was an “event”: le bon ton came out in force, from celebrity architects to publishing moguls.And the result? A naive, dumbfoundingly literal march through 20th- and 21st-century Libyan history. A piece that was extraordinarily untheatrical, about whose characters one cared nothing, whose pacing was stultifyingly unvarying and whose music struggled to sustain its two-hour length. It was saved from looking a complete turkey by some very good performances (notably Ramon Tikaram in the lead) and the virtuosity of ENO’s technical team. The obvious parallel to Gaddafi – a work of music theatre on the life of a famous world leader – is John Adams’s masterpiece Nixon in China, given a wonderful revival recently by ENO. In terms of sophistication, wit, imagination and emotional depth, there is, alas, no comparison.

What’s depressing about this is that it feels like a case of one struggling and unfashionable artform piggy-backing off the trendiness of another. It’s a trade: ENO gets to be perfumed by hip-hop’s cool, whereas ADF gets to experiment with a different form on a national stage.

Nor would the trade-off be unacceptable if it seemed as if making the work had been an artistic necessity. But it didn’t. If the writers had any notion of the theatre, had anything that urgently needed to be said on the lyric stage, then it was lost on me. Indeed, it was hardly as if ADF had been haunting opera houses for years, dreaming of a commission: the idea that Steve Savale of ADF’s interest in Gaddafi should be converted into an opera came not from him, but from an impresario, Alex Poots, briefly the head of contemporary arts at ENO.

To be clear, the argument here is not that artists working in other forms should somehow be prevented from working in opera, or that opera should be kept pure for the members of an exclusive inner circle. Some of the most memorable interventions in lyric theatre have been from artists known primarily for other media: the Quay Brothers’ designs; Mark Morris’s choreography; Auden’s libretto for The Rake’s Progress; Minghella’s direction of Madam Butterfly.

The observation is simply this: ENO’s attitude that ADF should be brought in to brighten or shake up opera smells of cynicism rather than artistic conviction.

Worse than that, it smells of fear. John Berry, the artistic director of ENO, last week said that the word “opera” was a major problem with audiences, and that word has been suppressed in marketing the project. At the same time, he hopes that at least “a handful” of the new audiences brought to the Coliseum by Gaddafi will return to see more traditional works.

But if you imagine that new audiences will come to the Coliseum only for “not-opera”, surely it is illogical to believe that they will return for what you bill incontrovertibly as opera? And if you, the management of the national opera company, contend that opera is such a bitter pill to swallow that it has to be disguised, if you have such little confidence in the artform, then why, bluntly, should anyone else be interested in it?

No one doubts the right, indeed the duty, of ENO to experiment, to evolve the artform, to widen the pool of artists with whom it works – and to fail honourably, from time to time, in doing that. But Gaddafi: A Living Myth is, alas, a phoney.

· Charlotte Higgins is a Guardian arts correspondent

charlotte.higgins@guardian.co.uk


From Pierre Tristam, former About.com GuideIn September 2006, the English National Opera and the BBC produced an opera about the life of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi titled, “Gaddafi.” (Spellings of Qaddafi’s name have ranged from those used here to Kaddafi, Kadafi, Ghaddafi and more.)
The opera was “an examination of the creation of a myth,” retelling the story of a Bedouin who becomes a powerful political leader. The chorus represented Qaddafi’s all-female bodyguards. The opera was directed by British film director Antonia Bird. The music was written by Steve Chandra Savale, a former guitarist with the group Asian Dub Foundation, on a libretto by playwright Shan Khan.

“It’s a brave attempt to create a vision for new opera in 2006 by dramatising the life of one of today’s most controversial politicians,” The Guardian wrote, “but sadly the evening is never more than a hodgepodge of musical and cultural influences, with the amplified ENO orchestra augmented by the guitars and ouds of the Third Universal Band and an accompaniment of sampled beats.

  • A new opera based on the life of the Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddafi, featuring a rapper as Qaddafi and a chorus of all-female bodyguards, highlights the new season of the English National Opera. The program of London’s second-largest opera company will be the first season fully organized by the company’s new artistic director, Sean Doran.
    Arts, Briefly; Qaddafi, the Opera
  • By HEATHER TIMMONS; Compiled by Ben Sisario
    Published: 17 January 2005The English National Opera and the BBC are producing an opera about the life of the Libyan leader Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, below. The piece, titled ”Gaddafi,” will be ”an examination of the creation of a myth,” and will tell the story of a man born into a Bedouin tribe who becomes a powerful political leader, the opera company said. Colonel Qaddafi’s all-female pack of bodyguards will be represented by the opera’s chorus. The British film director Antonia Bird, whose movie ”Priest,” about a gay clergyman, won the International Critics Award at the BerlinFilm Festival in 1995, will make her opera debut directing the work. Steve Chandra Savale, a former guitarist with the group Asian Dub Foundation, will compose the score, and the playwright Shan Khan will write the libretto. The opera is scheduled to open in February 2006. HEATHER TIMMONS

    Muammar Muhammad Abu mInyar Al Gaddafi:
  • The work is a recent example of the blending of pop strains and classical opera form, a trend seen particularly in Britain, where the English National Opera commissioned the hip-hop Asian Dub Foundation to make a work about the Libyan leader Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.
  • Music
    Classical music
    Opera
    Ad Libya? No, it’s all in the script
    The libretto in this daring collaboration from ENO and Asian Dub Foundation is so banal that even brave acting and directing can’t save it(A VERY UGLY AND BAD WRITE-UP, not concerning the music; but about Our Supreme Commander!The writer is prejudiced, biased and totally MEAN! 
    by Anthony Holden)
    The Observer, Sunday 10 September 2006
    “Gaddafi: A Living Myth”
    Coliseum, London WC2

    Tony Blair’s bad week got worse on Thursday evening, when he was depicted on the stage of a state-subsidised London theatre accepting a fat cheque from the man once known as ‘the godfather of terror’, Libya’s Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi.

    …OK, the music column does not usually devote its first three paragraphs to political analysis, but this week it is unavoidable. Asian Dub Foundation’s Gaddafi: A Living Myth is presented on the stage (and in the name) of English National Opera. There is no way the piece can be called an opera – none of its leading characters even sings – but it is certainly a brash work of music-theatre, making an ambitious attempt to grapple with complex contemporary issues.

    Accentuate that word ‘attempt’, for the piece signally fails to answer the questions it raises. The many conflicting sides to the intriguing figure of Gaddafi are serially presented, uniform by uniform – liberator, ideologue, religious zealot,..but the end-product fails to take a position. The first half is an inert Wikipedia guide to the Libyan leader, a dictator painted by numbers, and the more animated second a confused morass of suggestive set-pieces, sending us back into the night to sort it out over dinner.

    This is largely the fault of the writer (or ‘librettist’), Shan Khan, whose decision to go for rhyming couplets leads to long stretches of jaw-dropping banality. Ronald Reagan, for instance, rapping to his advisers that ‘All this hocus-pocus don’t sharpen my focus’. Or Gaddafi himself proclaiming that ‘Terrorists are those who have not yet won/The West knows that power comes from the barrel of a gun.’…

    Colonel could be a kind of catalyst for Arab unity.

    Gaddafi’s own inspiration is Egypt’s Nasser, who opens the evening with the thought that the Arab world harbours ‘a role wandering aimlessly in search of a hero’. This would seem to suggest that the ensuing story is that of the hero finally filling this role. But the team that has put it together fails to come up with the courage of that, or any other, conviction.

    They are blessed in the confident, inventive direction of David Freeman, and the bravura acting of Ramon Tikaram in the title-role. The designs of Es Devlin are lavish and innovative, but the choreography of Hakeem Onibudo is cringe-makingly Top of the Pops hackneyed – above all in the case of Gaddafi’s glamorous female bodyguards.

    The music of Steve Chandra Savale and his ADF ranges from hip-hop to rap, electronic tub-thumping to cliched movie soundtrack. But the members of ENO’s house orchestra joining the jam-session, conducted by James Morgan, are the only possible justification for a national opera company hosting this piece. In the West End it would be shrugged offstage as an amateurish update of Evita. At the Coliseum it is an aberrant false start to an otherwise bums-on-seats new season.

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  1. Asian

    1. Asian Dub Foundation – KÖTERHAI BOOKING

      It was Primal Scream who finally brought ADF to the attention of the British media. 

      entitled “Gaddafi;A Living Myth” scheduled for September preformance.  Gaddafi”
      was premiered at the English National Opera in september 2006 and was 
    2. After 15 years, Asian Dub Foundation are as solid as ever | Asian 

      7 juin 2011 – In 2006, ADF pushed their creative boundaries further by accepting a commission from the

      English National Opera in London to compose 
    3. Ramon Tikaram – Main Page – adjectives for Main Page, adverbs for 

      zikkir.net/words/Ramon_Tikaram


      19 oct. 2011 – Tikaram is the son of Fijian-Indian British Army soldier Pramod Tikaram and Sarawakian 

      and Gaddafi in Gaddafi: A Living Myth, a dub/punk opera by Asian Dub Foundation, staged by the English
      National Opera in 2006.
    4. ASIAN DUB FOUNDATION | Free Music, Tour Dates, Photos, Videos

      pl.myspace.com/asiandubfoundationuk


      It was Primal Scream who finally brought ADF to the attention of the British media. 

      entitled “Gaddafi;A Living Myth” scheduled for September preformance.  Gaddafi”
      was premiered at the English National Opera in september 2006 and was 
    5. Gaddafi fake takes in Winner | Mail Online – Daily Mail

      24 mars 2011 – P.S. While the Royal Opera’s decision to put the wild life of Playboy 

      Still, it can’t be worse than ENO’s 2006 all-singing turkey, Gaddafi: A Living Myth. ….
      Murray the Magnificent becomes first British man to win Wimbledon in 
    6. 32 local young people selected to play the roles of The  – The Lowry

      8 févr. 2012 –  Josefina Gabrielle, will play the part of British governess Anna. 

      inGaddafi – A Living Myth at English National Opera, Genie in Aladdin at 
    7. Libya issues pledge to halt attacks – The London Expat American 

      19 mars 2011 – Gaddafi: A Living Myth is being staged by the English National Opera (ENO)

      with Ramon Tikaram in the title role. Sept 2006
    8. [DOC]

      trishna – Film Education

      9 mars 2012 – Hardy was describing a similar moment in English life. …..

      Documentary at the British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs) in 2006. 
      at the English National Opera in Gaddafi: A Living Myth for David Freeman and in Prayer 

    Dub Foundation | Primary Talent

    It was Primal Scream who finally brought ADF to the attention of the British media. 

    and the beginnings of a music theatre project entitled ‘Gaddafi;A Living Myth’ ‘Gaddafi’
    was premiered at the English National Opera in September 2006 
  2. Aura Deva – Real British accent, posh, cute, sweet, flirty  – Voice123

    voice123.com/auradeva


    Gaddafi: A Living Myth – role: various. September 2006. The London Coliseum Production:

    English National Opera in collaboration with Asian Dub Foundation 
  3. ATC | The Golden Dragon

    She was soon enticed by London life where she moved in 2006 to enroll at  (no water)

    (Frantic Assembly); Gaddafi – A Living Myth (English National Opera); 
  4. Libya: Roman baths of Leptis Magna | Dear Kitty. Some blog

    dearkitty1.wordpress.com/2006/…/libya-roman-baths…

    Traduire cette page

    15 juil. 2006 – Administrator on September 6, 2006 at 12:02 pm said: Gaddafi: A Gaddafi: A Living Myth is a new opera that, according to the English National Opera(ENO) website, “explores a contradictory enigma and the power of myth”.

  5. A Jamaican in Cairo EP | Secret Archives of the Vatican

    secretarchivesofthevatican.wordpress.com/…/a-jamaic…


    17 sept. 2010 – In 2006 Diaspora was commissioned by the English National Opera to co-compose and arrange the score for the opera Gaddafi: A living myth 

  6. ENO in collaboration with Asian Dub Foundation Presents 

    27 mai 2007 – 11 messages – 9 auteurs

    The English National Opera… Asian Dub  about Gadaffi no? ― gekoppel (Gekoppel),

    Monday, 7 August 2006 21:02 (6 years ago) Permalink.
  1. `Gaddafi’ Premieres at ENO, Raises Questions of Taste, Sanity 

     the Living Myth,” the world premiere that opened the new season at London’s English National Opera last night. 

    Review by Warwick Thompson – September 8, 2006 09:46 EDT  “Gaddafi: A Living Myth” is in repertoire through Sept 16.
  2. Ramon Tikaram – Primeval Wiki

    primeval.wikia.com/wiki/Ramon_Tikaram


    Tikaram is the son of Fijian-Indian British Army soldier Pramod Tikaram and Sarawakian of The Ramayana, and

    Gaddafi in Gaddafi: A Living Myth, a dub/punk opera by Asian Dub Foundation, staged by the English National Opera in 2006.
  3. New Format – Outlook Photogallery

    photo.outlookindia.com/default.aspx?…/2006


    6 sept. 2006 – Sep 06, 2006  the opera,’Gaddafi: A Living Myth’, at London’s English National Opera.

    The first performance of the opera is on September 7
  1. [PDF]

    – Music Course London Semester 2006

    Music Course London Semester 2006  Gaddafi. A Living Myth, (a newly commissioned opera with music by  ”

    h?id=l I I. Venue: ENGLISH NATIONAL OPERA.
  2. Review – Diaspora : A Jamaican In Cairo

    3 déc. 2010 – In 2006 the latter was commissioned by the English National Opera to co-compose and arrange the

    score for the opera “Gaddafi: A living myth” 
  3. Tikaram Screen and Theatre Master class – About | Facebook

    Also featuring guest speakers, this course holds something for everyone whether a drama student, ameture,

    new qualified professional, someone with no 
  4. PHOTOS: The Life And Times Of ‘Mad Dog’ Qaddafi – Business Insider

    22 août 2011 – Here actors perform the opera Gaddafi: A Living Myth, in London, September 2006.

    By 2006 the U.S. re-established diplomatic relations with 
  5. Asian Dub Foundation | Biography – Lyrics

    Asian Dub Foundation are a British electronica band, that plays a mix of breakbeat, dub, 

    There’s no point in giving an individual (an accolade).  In September 2006, the dub/punk opera
    “Gaddafi: A Living Myth”, with music by Asian Dub 
  1. London.(INTERNATIONAL)(Gaddafi: A Living Myth)(Opera review 

    business.highbeam.com › … › Opera News


    1 déc. 2006 – (INTERNATIONAL)(Gaddafi: A Living Myth)(Opera review) – Find Opera News articles. 

    English National Opera opened its season on September 7 with something  New Statesman (1996);
    September 18, 2006; 700+ words.
  2. Gaddafi: A Living Myth – from www.classicalsource.com

    Gaddafi: A Living Myth [Co-commissioned by English National Opera & Channel 4: First performance] 

    Thursday, September 07, 2006  with the subject matter) confirmed this was to be no conventional
    English National Opera commission.
  3. Anglo-Libyan: Gaddafi: A Living Myth

    http://www.anglo-libyan.com/2006/…/gaddafi-living-myth….


    4 sept. 2006 – The English National Opera (ENO) in collaboration with Asian Dub Foundation (ADF)

    are starting their new much publisisd opera Gaddafi: A Living Myth, which is about the life of 
    Tuesday, September 05, 2006 9:48:00 am.
  4. The Stage / Reviews / Gaddafi: A Living Myth

    Published Friday 8 September 2006 at 15:25 by George Hall  David Freeman; Producer: English National Opera;

    Cast includes: Ramon Tikaram, Martin Turner 
  5. “CLASSICAL: Neither a Hit nor a Myth ; Gaddafi: A Living Myth 

    It was fitting that before the premiere of Gaddafi: A Living Myth, no one involved in this playwright Shan Khan,

    and English National Opera could agree on a term to Boztas, Senay. Stage Directions, Vol. 19, No. 5, May 2006. Read preview.
  6. John Amis online: Myth Conception

    johnamismusic.blogspot.com/2006/…/myth-conceptio…


    11 sept. 2006 – It is Gaddafi: A Living Myth, given a short run by English National Opera in the London Coliseum

    (last performances this Friday and Saturday).
  7. UNITED KINGDOM: English National Opera puts on mul | Text View 

    http://www.itnsource.com/en/…/2006/09/14/RTV1497206/?…


    14 sept. 2006 – “Gaddafi: A Living Myth” opened at London’s Coliseum on Thursday the English National Opera

    (ENO) is boldly going where no opera …. LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (SEPTEMBER 07, 2006) (REUTERS)
  8. Brick Lane Festival | Gaddafi: A Living Myth | The Journey

    Gaddafi: A Living Myth is a new opera that, according to the English National Opera(ENO) website,

    “explores a contradictory enigma and the power of myth”. Written by Asian Dub Foundation, 
    Sat 9 Sep 2006, 00:00 BST. Issue No. 2017 
  9. FOXNews.com – Libya’s `Gadhafi’Focus of London Opera

    http://www.foxnews.com/…/2006Sep07/0,4675,BritainGad…


    7 sept. 2006 – In”Gaddafi: A Living Myth,”the Libyan leader bestrides the stage of London’s Coliseum like _

    well, a colossus.  This is not the usual operatic fare, even for a company like the ENO, which sees 
    The show, which opened the company’s 2006-2007 season on  English National Opera:http://www.eno.org.
  10. Gaddafi: A Living Myth’ Opera – Libya Forum

    Sep 27, 2006 at 06:01 PM  I insisted on attending the ‘Gaddafi: A Living Myth’ Opera before writing about it, 

    Later, I read that the goal of the English National Opera is to attract new audiences of young men and women, especially Asians.
  1. Arts, Briefly – New York Times

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/11/arts/11arts.html?…


    11 sept. 2006 – “The Covenant” (Sony-Screen Gems), a horror film, became No. ..

    TheEnglish National Opera’s production of “Gaddafi: A Living Myth” has had its  13,2006.
    A report in the “Arts, Briefly” column on Monday about the Venice 

Charlotte Chapman | StarNow.co.uk

‘Gaddafi- a living myth’- English National opera- London Coliseum ‘tha 4orce’Biting off the Hook-

Music Video Brit Awards 2006- Kanye West ‘ goldigger
  1. Gaddafi: The Man – The Myth – The Mess | FreakyTrigger

    freakytrigger.co.uk/…/2006/…/gaddafi-the-man-the-…


    15 sept. 2006 – So forget that were are at the home of the English National Opera, the Coliseum, and instead consider 

    Under those conditions, Gaddafi: A Living Myth is an almost complete triumph.  xyzzzz__ † on 15 September 2006 #.
  2. Where’s singing in Gaddafi opera, UK critics ask – Oneindia News

    news.oneindia.in › News › India


    Published: Saturday, September 9, 2006, 11:34 [IST]  English National Opera (ENO), one of Britain’s

    two main opera houses, won  mix of musical styles in ”Gaddafi: A Living Myth” and critics complained it
    contained little rap and no opera.
  3. Gaddafi on Political Assassinations and the Glory of Suicide | Tufts 

    fletcher.tufts.edu/…/Gaddafi-on-Political-Assassinatio…

    11 mars 2011 – Not since the days of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin (1971-1979) has political opera bouffe been on such 

    subject of an opera (produced in September 2006 by theEnglish National Opera under the title Gaddafi: A Living Myth) 
  4. Asian Dub Foundation’s GADDAFI: A LIVING MYTH – YouTube

    18 août 2006 – Ajouté par enogaddafi

    Asian Dub Foundation’s GADDAFI: A LIVING MYTH  Uploaded on Aug 18, 2006  or chuckled at the 

  5. Autres vidéos pour ENGLISH ENO OPERA: “Gaddafi: A Living … »
  6. Gaddafi: A Living Myth, Asian Dub Foundation & ENO | urban75 

    8 sept. 2006 – Gaddafi: A Living Myth, Asian Dub Foundation & ENO. Discussion in ‘music, bands,

    clubs & festies’ started by Firky, Sep 8, 2006.  Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, will be turned
    into a musical by the English National Opera.
  7. Colonel calls the tune – Archive – Al Jazeera English

    http://www.aljazeera.com/…/2006/…/20084101142358263…


    David Connolly Last Modified: 06 Sep 2006 04:58 GMT  English National Opera(ENO) is staging the dub/

    punk opera Gaddafi: A Living Myth which has been composed by Steve Chandra Savale of the electronica-punk collective the Asian 
  8. the tanjara: gaddafi: a living myth

    thetanjara.blogspot.com/2006/…/gaddafi-living-myth….


    Monday, September 11, 2006. gaddafi: a living myth. The show “Gaddafi: A Living Myth”, which burst last week onto

    the stage of the  Asian Dub Foundation, Middle Eastern musicians and the ENO orchestra with rap 
    by the Australian opera director David Freeman, is an opera, a musical, a hybrid of both or a new form.
  9. Libya’s ‘Gadhafi’ Focus of London Opera

    http://www.apnewsarchive.com/2006/…Opera/id-faa432b7…


    7 sept. 2006 – 7, 2006 3:39 PM ET. LONDON  Now Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi is an operatic hero. 

    is the central figure in “Gaddafi: A Living Myth,” the highly anticipated season-opener from the English National Opera.
  10. Gaddafi: The Opera – Time Out

    By John LewisPosted: Mon Sep 11 2006  mind when watching Asian Dub Foundation’s collaboration with the

    English National Opera, ‘Gaddafi: A Living Myth’.
  11. Modern opera: five hits and misses – Telegraph

    30 janv. 2011 – Gaddafi: A Living Myth at the English National Opera. Hopelessly out of their 

    Into the Little Hill Paris, 2006. A 40-minute chamber opera with a 
  1. Gadhafi opera bewilders critics – 中国社会保障网

    http://www.cnss.cn/…/en/…/200609/t20060911_22024.htm

    POSTED: 8:30 a.m. EDT, September 8, 2006 POSTED: 1230 GMT (2030 HKT), English National Opera (ENO),

    one of Britain’s two main opera houses, won  faced a bewildering mix of musical styles in “Gaddafi: A Living Myth” and critics 
  2. First of its kind / Arts / Culture / Home – Morning Star

    Monday 11 September 2006  Three years in the making, Gaddafi: A Living Mythopens the autumn English National Opera

    season with a highly innovative 
  3. The new generation of opera has emerged and it ain’t  – OperaOnline

    www.operaonline.us/commentoct06.htm


    Commentary: October, 2006. The new generation of opera has,  Last month, Newsweek, among others, took notice

    when the English National Opera (ENO) staged its World Premiere hip-hopera, “Gaddafi: A Living Myth.” With music by an 
  4. Stock Photography image of Gaddafi : A Living Myth Ramon Tikaram 

    Stock photo image of Gaddafi : A Living Myth Ramon Tikaram as Gaddafi in anEnglish National Opera production at the

    Coliseum , London . Directed by David 
  5. Savale/Khan Gaddafi: A Living Myth – Musical Pointers

    ENO at the Coliseum, London September 07, 2006  unworthy of its hosting under the auspices of English National Opera,

    which qualified it for the posting of its 
  6. McRae The Assassin Tree – Musical Pointers

    Linbury Studio Theatre at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden  Gaddafi: A Living Myth  ENO at the Coliseum,

    London September 07, 2006  and there were nosurtitles, as necessary for opera in English as for those in other languages 
  7. Old News – Dominic Sewell Music

    dominicsewell.co.uk/news/old-news/


    16 mai 2013 – Composer of music for three short films for English National Ballet;. Composer for ‘Summertime’  2006-2007.

    Music Lecturer Trinity  mixed ensemble. Copyist/Consultations English National Opera. Gaddafi – a Living Myth 
  8. Ibrahim Warde: Gaddafi on Political Assassinations and the Glory of 

    11 mars 2011 – Not since the days of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin (1971-1979) has political opera bouffe been on such 

    subject of an opera (produced in September 2006 by theEnglish National Opera under the title Gaddafi: A Living Myth) 
  9. Kaddafi Opera Rocks London – Newsweek and The Daily Beast

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/…/2006/…/springtime-for-mu…


    12 sept. 2006 – Brian Green was stunned at what he saw when he opened the heavy oak doors at the English National Opera. 

    Sep 12, 2006 8:00 PM EDT  anticipated hip-hop opera “Gaddafi: A Living Myth” which runs through Sept. 16.
  10. Loud, lewd and nasty – New Statesman

    By Peter Conrad Published 18 September 2006 …. “Gaddafi: a living myth” is atEnglish National Opera, London WC2, until

    16 September. Further info from: 
    1. On An Overgrown Path: Much music, but how much merit?

      http://www.overgrownpath.com/2006/…/much-music-but-h…


      Tuesday, September 05, 2006  the autumn is almost certain to be the premiere on Thursday September 7

      at English National Opera of Gaddafi: A Living Myth.
    2. music – Sacred Space Gallery

      He collaborated as composer/arranger/musician with the English National Opera Gaddafi, A Living Myth,

      which premiered at the London Coliseum in September 
    3. Silk_Road – Sacred Space Gallery

      He collaborated as composer/arranger/musician with the English National Opera Gaddafi, A Living Myth,

      which premiered at the London Coliseum in September 
  1. Sandy Moffat, actor – Casting Call Pro

    Queen theatrical productions. Musical Dome, Cologne. 2006, Ensemble Theatre,Gaddafi: A Living Myth David Freeman,

    English National Opera Colliseum 
    1. Ramon Tikaram – WinterIsComing.net

      winter-is-coming.net/features/cast/…/ramon-tikaram/

      Actor Bio: Ramon Tikaram is a British stage and screen actor of Indo-Fijian and Malaysian  of The Ramayana, and

      Gaddafi in Gaddafi: A Living Myth, a dub/punk opera by Asian Dub Foundation, staged by the English National Opera in 2006.
      1. Creative Team | Chimerica | Almeida Theatre, London

        Opera includes:Beatrice et Benedict (Theater an der Wien); Imago; Knight Crew  in 2010,2011 and 2012 and

        the Olivier Award for Best Costume Design in 2006. …. water) (Frantic Assembly); Gaddafi; A Living Myth
        (English National Opera); 

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