Somtow Sucharitkul’s The Silent Prince is a highly accessible chamber opera designed for easy touring, dramaturgically and musically inspired equally by Western and by South and Southeast Asian models.  It will be the composer’s sixth completed opera.


Of his most recent opera, Ayodhya, which retells the entire story of the Ramayana including the lesser-known Seventh Book in a single evening, Opera News said, “ a feast for both the eye and the ear, a throwback to the era of grand operas that featured stirring choruses, theatrical effects, lavish costumes, big voices, sumptuous orchestration, lyrical melodies and an aura of magic.”  Audio Review said “Ayodhya is a fascinating and brilliantly realized fusion of eastern and western musical traditions.”


Conceived for smaller theatres, The Silent Prince is scored for a chamber ensemble of Western and Asian instruments.  Easily comprehensible to an opera audience, it nevertheless also partakes of the aesthetics of Asian theatre.


Set in Benares during mythic times, The Silent Prince tells the story of a Boddhisatva who must choose between a terrible karmic burden and the dishonor of disobeying his father.  To avoid the decision, he withdraws into a world of complete silence, broken only at the end of the story when he appears in the splendor of his divinity to reveal the truth and to redeem his suffering family and people.


The musical language of the opera is an eclectic fusion, inspired equally by the drama and spectacle of baroque opera and the rhythms and colors of Bollywood. 


The opera is about 80 minutes long and is in a prologue and five scenes, with a single intermission.