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Symphonic Khmer Rouge performance to premiere in Melbourne

Mark Tilly / Khmer Times Share:
Rithy Panh photographed here with Angelina Jolie. His latest work, in collaboration with others, will feature in Melbourne, Australia. Tom Stoddart / Getty Reportage Tom Stoddart / Getty Reportage

Melbourne, Australia is set to host the world premiere of the first symphonic work addressing the years of the Khmer Rouge in October.

“Bangsokol: A Requiem for Cambodia” fuses music, voice, film and movement, and is the first collaboration between renowned Cambodian composer Him Sophy and filmmaker Rithy Panh.

Sophy is known for his composition work in creating “A Bend in the River”, while Rithy Panh recently collaborated with Angelina Jolie in her upcoming film adaptation of Loung Ung’s “First They Killed My Father”.

Australian ambassador Angela Crocoran said the performance will help strengthen the close connections between Australians and Cambodians.

“Bangsokol will bring Cambodia’s story to an Australian audience,” she said.

“It will enhance cultural appreciation and understanding of Cambodia’s history and it will showcase the best of Cambodian music and art to an international audience.”

Bangsokol has been a large scale collaborative project between Cambodians and Australians, featuring prominent Australian choreographer, Giden Obarzanek.

“Australia looks forward to welcoming the Bangsokol artists, producers and supporters to the great city of Melbourne, for what will be an impressive showcase of music and cultural exchange,” the ambassador said.

Melbourne and the state of Victoria has a large Cambodian diaspora, many of whom originally fled the country in the lead up and during the Khmer Rouge’s bloody regime.

The Museum of Victoria recently featured an exhibition celebrating 40 years since the first refugees arrived in the state, hailing the diaspora as a key part of Victoria’s cultural diversity.

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