Franz Schubert's Unfinished Opera - "Shakuntala"

Presented in Mumbai by Honorary Consulate General of Austria & Jasubhai Foundation

About the Opera

"Shakuntala" is an unfinished opera in three acts, written c. 1820 by Franz Schubert to a libretto by Johann Philipp Neumann. The opera is based on the Sanskrit story of Shakuntala's love for King Duschmanta and her rejection. The famous Indian love story has impressed various authors and artistes throughtout the years.

The history of Schubert's "Shakuntala" is interesting. Western poets and artistes were being introduced to Indian literature and philosophy around the 18th Century. In 1789, Kalidas's "Shakuntala" was translated by Sir William Jones, reportedly the first Indian play to be translated into a Western language. The famous love story caught the attention of artistes & stirred the Austrian composer, Franz Schubert to write an opera on this tale. He composed it around 1820, but it remained incomplete as he died at the young age of 31.

This concert version of the musical masterpiece was arranged and completed by the composer, conductor and president of the Vienna Boys' Choir, Professor Gerald Wirth, and will be performed by the Austrian Chamber Orchestra together with the renowned Indian Shillong Choir.

Schubert's musical text will be interpreted by the Indian Classical dancer Shovna Narayan. In addition, the story will be presented to the audience by an Indian narrator in English.

(31 January 1797 - 19 November 1828) Franz Schubert was an Austrian composer of the late Classical and early Romantic eras. Schubert left behind a vast oeuvre. Appreciation of Schubert's music while he was alive was limited to a relatively small circle of admirers in Vienna, but interest in his work increased significantly in the decades following his death. Today, Schubert is ranked among the greatest composers of the 19th century, and his music continues to be popular.

He received his first musical education as a chorister of the Vienna Boys Choir. He functioned as a choir director at the Vienna Boys Choir and the Landestheater Salzburg. In 1998 he returned to the venue of his early musical education - the Vienna Boys Choir, where he was appointed Artistic Director in 2001, and President of this renowned institution in 2013.

She is one of the most celebrated and outstanding Kathak Maestro of the present age; well known both as choreographer and performer. She has received Padma Shri, 1992 & Sangeet Natak Akademi Award 1999 - 2000.
She is married to Dr. Herbert Traxl, Former Austrian Ambassador to India.

Founded in 2001 by Neil Nongkynrih in Mehghalaya, the choir has a multi-genre repertoire. Its versatility ranges from performances with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra and the Fitz William Quartet to collaborations with icons like Amitabh Bachchan.

Dedicated to the forthcoming performances of Shakuntala, it consists of musicians of the Collegium Ennsegg Orchestra and the Bruckner Orchester, Linz. With an international reputation for outstanding, idiomatic performances of a repertoire ranging from mainstream classical music to cross-art form collaboration.


Date: Saturday, 6th October, 2018

Time: 7.00 P.M.

Venue: Jamshed Bhabha Theatre,

NCPA, Mumbai.