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Douglas J. Cuomo's Arjuna's Dilemma in Nepal with One World Theatre

Sep. 08, 2016

Douglas J. Cuomo's <em>Arjuna's Dilemma</em> in Nepal with One World Theatre

Douglas J. Cuomo’s chamber opera Arjuna’s Dilemma, based on the story of the Bhagavad Gita, made its way to Nepal this month for the work’s Asian premiere in a new production presented by One World Theatre.

The performances took place September 2 through 11 outside in the Bhitri Chowk courtyard of the Royal Palace located in Kathmandu, Nepal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site heavily damaged by the 2015 earthquakes. The national premiere of Arjuna's Dilemma was part of a benefit for the Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust and temple reconstruction, and presented as a “gift for the soul” of the people of Nepal. Along with local Nepali audiences at the eleven sold out performances, those attending Arjuna's Dilemma included dignitaries and ambassadors from more than eight countries throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Also noteworthy, the event marked the first ever production of an opera in Nepal and engaged an international cast and creative team anchored by Nepali artists. The production featured Indian vocalist Gurudev Kamat and tenor Roy Stevens, with direction by Deborah Merola, stage design by Greg Mitchell and was conducted by Jonathan Khuner.

Arjuna’s Dilemma was commissioned, developed and first produced by Music-Theatre Group in 2008 at the PepsiCo Theatre in Purchase, NY and the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Harvey Theater. The work was hailed as “appealing and unabashedlyeclectic” (The New York Times), and acclaimed for its deft juxtaposition of Indian classical singing, jazz improvisation, and classical minimalism “all worked into a seamless whole, like a golden Indian brocade” (The Washington Post).

For more information on Douglas J. Cuomo, visit

Douglas J. Cuomo
Arjuna’s Dilemma (2008)
chamber opera in one act
libretto (Eng, Sanskrit) by the composer
after scenes from the Bhagavad Gita and poems by Kabir
translations by Ramananda Prasad
for Indian vocalist, tenor, female chorus (4 singers) and chamber ensemble
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