13th Shoton festival in Mungod Tibetan
Friday, 9 March 2007, 12:10 p.m.
|TIPA Director leading the Chief Guest Ven. Konchok Paksam|
Mungod: The 13th Shoton, festival of the Tibetan Opera, is being held at the Tibetan settlement of Doeguling, Mungod. Thousands of people turned up for the opening ceremony held here on 6 March.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Guest Venerable Kunchok Paksam, former abbot of the Drepung Loselling Monastery, dwelled on the historical origin of this ancient opera festival.
Mrs. Kalsang Youdon Dagpo, director of the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA), also briefed the gathering on the origin of the festival and the importance of this traditional performing arts.
Of the nine opera associations in exile, only six performers from Mungod, Kalimpong, Bandhara, Bylakuppe, Mainpat and TIPA were able to participate in this year opera festival.
Each troupe performed the customary 45-minute premiere opera extract that day.
From 7 March onwards, each opera troupe performed the whole operatic repertoire.
The main aim and objective of this festival is to promote and preserve the traditions of Tibetan opera.
“Through this festival we are able to bring together all opera enthusiasts from various settlements and also provide them with a platform to show off their talents and skills” said Mr.Lobsang Samten, the artistic director of the TIPA. He further adds that this mass interaction of artistes will also help in educating the youngsters on the opera tradition.
Despite the heat, people sat glued to their seat laughing and cheering as each character simulated amusing and entertaining performances. Each opera performance during the day will be followed by a musical presentation in the evening by the artistes of the TIPA.
The 13th Shoton Opera festival will conclude on the 15 of March.
The reception for the participants has been very generous with various monasteries, camp leaders, co-operative and settlement officers’ coming forward with offer of hosting lunch for the artistes during the festival.
The festival of sounds and music has captivated the hearts and minds of Doeguling residents. Many of the enthralled audiences, particularly monks and elderly people, who attended the opening ceremony, expressed immense joy at being a part of this prominent secular festival. The audiences kept on cheering, laughing and weeping, as the artistes once again brought back the fond memories of good old days. In order to encourage people from participating, the entrance this time for the festival is free for all.
Last year the Shoton festival was held at TIPA in Dharamshala and its opening ceremony was graced by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Reported by Tenzin Lhaksam of TIPA