The Sinhala Radio Opera and theThis lecture is concerned with examining Indian literary and music-cultural influences on the gita nataka, or Sinhala radio opera. It focuses on the lives of Chandrarathna Manawasinghe and Wimal Abhayasundara, and their two critically acclaimed librettos, Manawasinghe’s Manohari, the first radio opera, broadcast from Radio Ceylon in 1955, and Abhayasundara’s Nishadi, broadcast in 1959. The poets’ particular engagement in the study of Sanskrit and Indian classical music, the reformist motivation behind the creation of the radio opera, as well as poetic and musicological aspects of these works will be discussed through translated excerpts and audio examples.

Guest Le