Kamala Sankaram and Kelley Rourke’s retelling of The Jungle Book offers a fresh look at the story of Mowgli, an endangered human cub who seeks refuge from dangers of the jungle with a pack of wolves. Should the pack accept Mowgli, even if it means making an enemy of Shere Khan, the lawless tiger? A story of compassion, justice and forgiveness, this operatic version of The Jungle Book will draw from Eastern and Western classical music traditions, and will feature the Glimmerglass Youth Chorus, joined by members of the company’s Young Artists Program, with piano accompaniment.
“Classical music in India, like European classical music, has a very rich tradition, its major forms dating back to the 16th century,” Sankaram said. “Indian classical ragas (akin to modes) serve as the building block of a piece and also convey specific moods, such as happiness, devotion, and sorrow. It is my hope that borrowing equally from the traditions of Indian and European classical music will not only serve to create a sense of place within the opera, but will leave our young artists with a greater sense of the world and the commonalities shared between cultures.”