After hearing about this upon its release 6 years ago, I finally saw it by chance on CUNY TV last night:
Opera Jawa was commissioned of Garin Nugroho, prolific and award-winning Indonesian director, by Peter Sellars‘ New Crowned Hope Festival to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Mozart‘s birth, so I gotta wonder what he would’ve made of it.
It’s an adaptation of an episode from The Ramayana to modern Indonesia, but it still retains a very mysterious, ritualistic vibe… I’m sure I didn’t get out of it what someone who is more familiar with Indonesian music and drama would, and it did feel pretty long at just under 2 hours, but I was glad to see it finally. I enjoyed the imaginative use of props, the clearly collaborative process, and the mix of classical Gamelan music, by Rahayu Supanggah, with folk music elements.
I think the furthest east Mozart ever got in an opera was Turkey, so no super-appropriate from-beyond-the-grave response to Nugroho, but here’s a choral interlude from the incidental music he wrote to the play Thamos, King of Egypt, in a 1980s Swiss TV performance: