Vocalists star in English play on Carnatic music composers, the Trinity

For some weeks now, Alwarpet-based theatre person P C Ramakrishna has been guiding a bunch of artistes at rehearsals held in a local hall for a unique play that is based on Carnatic music.

Now, ‘Trinity’, the play in English will be staged at Museum Theatre on Nov. 16, 17 and 18, 7 p.m. onwards.

‘Trinity’ is a seamless weave of 3 short stories by Seetha Ravi (published in Kalki) and translated by Prabha Sridevan (in The Hindu) on the “Tiruvarur Three”, Muthuswami Dikshitar, Shyama Sastri and Thyagaraja, the fountainheads of Carnatic music, who lived around Thanjavur at the same time in the 18th century.

And starring in the three stories are well-known Carnatic musicians – Vijay Siva, Gayatri Venkataraghavan and Dr S Sunder.

In PARIMALA RANGANATHAR,  Muthuswami Dikshitar travels from one holy kshetra to another with his disciples, composing memorable keerthanais on the temple, deity and legend of the place.
The scene begins in Mayuram, where he has just composed “Mayuranatham Anisham” in praise of the Lord there.

He then travels to Indalur, where he composes 2 krithis with the same pallavi but different charanams in Hamir Kalyani. What makes him do it is the focus of the story.
Vocalist Vijay Siva plays the role of Muthuswami Dikshitar.

The second story, SHYAMA KRISHNAN is on Lalitha , the wife of composer Shyama Sastri who waits long hours for her husband to return home from the temple. In a conversation with her neighbour, Dharmambal, the poignancy of her married life with Shyama Sastri is revealed. She ultimately merges with the “naadam” of his tambura , singing the great Yadukula Kambhoji Swarajathi of her husband.
Vocalist Gayathri Venkataraghavan plays the role of Lalitha

The third story is KEERTHI VILAASAM, Composer Thyagaraja is preparing for the wedding of his daughter Seethamma, who plies him with a multitude of questions on whether he actually saw Sri Rama, and, if so, why he continues to yearn for Him in every song. Thyagaraja has answers for her, and the scene ends with a revelation of why he uses his Mudra “Thyagaraja” in his compositions.

Vocalist Dr. S. Sunder is Thyagaraja.

The stories were rritten by Seetha Ravi, translated by Prabha Sridevan and the play is directed by P. C. Ramakrishna

The play also features Palghat Dr. R. Ramprasad, G. Madhavan, Bharath Narayan, Abhinav Shankar, Mathangi Kailasanath

Tickets can be booked at www.bookmyshow.com

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