classical music
contemporary classical

Nigel Osborne: Naciketa

Part of Classical Season 2020/21

This new opera, composed by Nigel Osborne with words by playwright Ariel Dorfman, tells the tale of a boy wrangling with death.

The contemporary chamber opera is steeped in the ragas of India, the ancient Indian form of song, Dhrupad, the edgy urban Hi-Life rhythms of Africa and the melos of Chilean Nueva canción.

It’s the next step in a line of operas in which Osborne integrates modernist and traditional music to create innovative music theatre.

Ariel Dorfman’s libretto tells a story set in communities which Osborne has come to know as an aid worker and whose human rights Dorfman has defended.

The story is inspired by the Upanishads, the Brahmin spiritual texts in which two protagonists, Music and the boy Naciketa, wrangle with Death/Yama.

It is also informed by the fate of the lost children of our time; child prostitutes, child soldiers and those orphaned through oppression and conflict.

Naciketa is commissioned and produced by Opera Circus, with music performed by Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s Kokoro ensemble.


Musicians from Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
BSO Resound
Mark Forkgen conductor
William Conway conductor
Sarvar Sabri tabla
Simon Thacker guitar, improvisation
Prakriti Dutta dhrupad vocal
Sam Brown director
Sumant Jayakrishnan designer


Nigel Osborne: Naciketa - opera

Dates & times

2 Jun 2021
Approximate run time: 150 mins
Run times may vary, find out more


Queen Elizabeth Hall


£20 - £40
Booking fee: £3.50 (Members £0.00)
£20, £30, £40


25% off (limited availability)
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need to know

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