Viswa Subbaraman

Opera and Orchestra Conductor

Filtering by Tag: Somtow Sucharitkul

Viswa - Asia Tour 2012 (Part 2)

I arrived in Bangkok at 5:30AM. The plan was that I would meet my parents at baggage claim when their flight arrived at 6:30AM, and we would then take the hotel "limo" to the Rembrandt. Sometimes the best plans…. About 2 hours after their flight landed I was still walking around baggage claim with no idea where they were. Like all good kids, I had assumed my parents had ignored my thoughtful instructions. I went up to the information desk and asked if they could page my parents, but evidently my English wasn't sufficient, and my Thai is non-existent. It was about that point where I thought I should head to the hotel and try to figure it out from there. Luckily, I walked by the baggage carousel one more time and a suitcase stuck out. My dad has a penchant for sticking multiple return address stickers on his suitcase. (You know the ones they send you in the mail for "free" if you make a donation to some cause?) I noticed one suitcase that looked like a 3rd grade girl had attacked it after receiving a birthday present of stickers, so I knew my parents were still in the airport. I finally come to find out that they had been sent to get a visa because the Thai Airlines folks had assumed they were Indian citizens. They stood in line for almost 2 hours only to find out that as Americans thy don't need a visa and should just stand in the immigration line.

We proceeded to spend the next 2 days sightseeing. We saw the reclining Buddha statue at Wot Pho one day. The next day, my dad and I were measured for suits. (I highly recommend St. Marco tailors at 1 Sukhumvit Soi 15.) We then headed down to the Grand Palace. It was the second time I saw the Grand Palace, and I have to admit that it doesn't get old. It's truly beautiful. (You can see pictures on my website.)

The next day I met up with Somtow Sucharitkul, the director of Opera Siam. We discussed some cool ideas (still under wraps) that could be very neat for both Opera Siam and The Skylight. That evening, I saw a rehearsal of the Siam Sinfonietta - a youth orchestra. I was energized by the level of excitement those kids brought to their playing!

The next morning was the craziest brunch ever. I ate enough for 10 men. We had brunch at the Grand Kempinski, and I have to say that it was magnificent. From there I walked to pick up my suits. Picked up my bags from the hotel and headed to the airport. This is where I got lucky. Unbeknownst to me - because I had forgotten - one is not allowed to re-enter India on a multiple entry visa until 2 months after the initial entry. If you remember, I was in India just before Bangkok. Luckily that 2 month law was repealed 2 weeks before!!! I made it back to India with no problems.

Viswa - Asia Tour 2012 (Part 1)

I really have meant to write more, but the travel schedule has left me exhausted. I left Houston on December 6 and landed in Singapore on Dec 8. (By way of Moscow). Upon landing, the composer John Sharpley was kind enough to lend me his spare bedroom to recover from my 22 hour flight. It was wonderful to be able to see him. I then took the metro into Singapore for a couple of meetings. (I'll let you know with whom should they come to fruition.) That night I jumped on a plane to Mumbai. For those of you who don't believe in miracles, I highly recommend riding in an Indian Taxi. It's miraculous that there aren't more accidents than already happen. As my aunt said, "it's best to get in the taxi and close your eyes until it arrives at your destination."

I stayed at my cousin's place and spent some time with my 92-year old uncle. (One day!) The next day was off and running - I met an Indian tenor, Amar Mucchala in Bandra and then headed into Mumbai. I stopped by the NCPA and said hello to my old friend Khushroo Suntook and finally ended up meeting my brother's boss from his time at PUKAR for dinner.

The next day started with a meeting with the famous Mumbai filmmaker (Bollywood for you Americans), Shyam Benegal. It was a true delight to meet with him. We had a great meeting and discussion about a variety of subjects. (Again, if it comes to fruition, I'll fill you in!) I did a good bit of walking around Nariman point and then headed off to the Taj Lands End to meet another director - Feroz Abbas Khan. We talked about theatre and art for a few hours then it was off to a private screening of his new film. The film was really wonderful. I look forward to seeing it again when it makes the international circuit as I have no doubt it will. I had one more day in Mumbai with the family then it was off to Bangkok to meet my parents and Somtow Sucharitkul.

Asian Excursion (Part 4 - Ain't no host like a Bangkok host)

I think more than anything it's a testament to the work that Somtow put into writing this opera. It's definitely one that I would do again at the drop of a hat. It showed Somtow's mastery of the art form.

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Where I’ve Been, and How I’ve Been Staying Out of Trouble (Part 1/3)

So, you might ask – coming off such a tough season, why would Opera Vista decide the roll the dice and aim to perform an opera that cost literally twice the entire operating budget for 2009-10?

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