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The 2014 Alain Daniélou Grant Programme awarded Riccardo Nova, the Italian musician and composer, for his challenging music project: the composition of an operatic work based on the Mahabharata, the greatest Indian epic poem along with Ramayana.
Mahabharata opera project will combine music with choreography. Both music composition and choreography will deal with traditional and contemporary styles. Indeed, the musical score will be constructed around several different groups of musicians; Indian traditional musicians and singers, string orchestra and natural horns, pre-recorded electronic section and a choir as a narrator that will sing the slokas, namely the Sanskrit verses with their archaic rhythms. The choreography will also bring to the stage a large variety of styles: from Indian traditional forms to contemporary dance and martial arts.
The making of the opera has advanced: many recordings have been realised and the notorious choreographer and dancer Akram Khan has been asked to work with a selection of 30 students from Accademia della Scala di Milano to choreograph some sections of the opera.

To find out more about the project, contact us at