Shakuntala's premiere on April 19

DUBAI — The world premiere of Rock Opera Shakuntala, Gems education’s first original musical production, will be staged at the theatre of the group's flagship school, Wellington International School, on April 19.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Wed 12 Apr 2006, 11:15 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 5:50 PM

The opera is in line with the group's commitment towards the community in the UAE and an effort to extend, through the event, its core values of leadership qualities, universal values, forward thinking and world citizenship, from its students to the people of Dubai.

The story, set in ancient India, is based on the lyrical Sanskrit poem by the Indian poet Kalidas, which depicts the story of a hermit girl who catches the attention of the King of the land when he ventures into the forest while on a hunt.

The production blends modern music, traditional dance and costume, a fabulous set and both international and local talents along with Gems alumni, students, parents and teachers.

“As an active supporter of the performing arts, Gems is extremely proud and pleased to be able to showcase Shakuntala to the residents of UAE. Shakuntala's new age musical performances along with its international ensemble promote Gems' core values of forward thinking and world citizenship that Gems aims to encourage and enhance in its students,” said Hugh MacPherson, Gems Chief Operating Officer. He said that the group hopes to reach out to a large audience and create long-standing interest in musical productions in the UAE.

Shakuntala is an original piece written, scored and directed by Kevin Oliver, who brings with him international experience and has previously directed Saturday Night Fever, Cats, Starlight Express and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. He has also worked with the original team of The Lion King in Toronto, Canada.

Describing Shakuntala as a milestone in his career, Oliver said: "I would like to extend my deepest thanks to Gems for giving us the opportunity to materialise this dream concert here in Dubai. The cast and crew have worked very hard and spared no effort in putting this musical together for the people of the UAE."

Oliver is also the Cultural Coordinator for Gems.

The world premiere will be followed by performances for public viewing from April 20 through 26.

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