From left, Ciputra Artpreuner president director Rina Ciputra Sastrawinata, Italian Ambassador Vittorio Sandalli, Italian Cultural Institute Jakarta director Michaela Linda Magri and Indonesian pianist and composer Ananda Sukarlan pose for a photo during a press conference on Tuesday (07/11). (JG Photo/Diella Yasmine)

Ananda Sukarlan Combines Gamelan, Classical Music for Pavarotti Tribute Concert


NOVEMBER 10, 2017

Jakarta. The Italian Embassy and the Italian Cultural Institute will present a special tribute concert dedicated to late operatic tenor Luciano Pavarotti at Ciputra Artpreneur Theater in South Jakarta on Nov. 26.

The Luciano Pavarotti Foundation will bring its best singers and the famous tenor's personal pianist to Jakarta for the concert, titled "Pavarotti Forever."

Nicoletta Mantovani, the tenor's wife and director of the Pavarotti Foundation, will attend the concert to make it even more special. The event will also feature an exhibition of Pavarotti memorabilia in the Ciputra Artpreneur Gallery.

Tenors Marco Miglietta and Jenish Ysmanov, along with soprano Elisa Balbo, will perform the repertoire accompanied by renowned pianist Paolo Andreoli, a long-time friend of the maestro.

The concert marks a decade since the passing of Pavarotti on Sept. 6, 2007. During his career, the tenor brought to light many works by Italian composers such as Gaetano Donizetti and Giuseppe Verdi, which strengthened the cultural legacy of his home country.

One of Pavarotti's greatest contributions was his singing of "Nessun Dorma" ("None Shall Sleep") during the 1990 FIFA World Cup. The song, composed by Giacomo Puccini, recently also became the musical theme for the Vienna opera scene in the Tom Cruise-led action film "Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation," making it memorable for many opera fans.

Also known as Big Luciano, Pavarotti is remembered as one of the world's most outstanding and charismatic opera singers. He is loved and admired by many, including Indonesian pianist and composer Ananda Sukarlan.

Ananda said Pavarotti's rendition of Puccini's work is among many things that inspire him to preserve and continue working on classical music.

"You can search on Google on your mobile phone; classical music is, and Google always automatically shows that classical music is boring or dying. We are trying to prove with Pavarotti that Google is wrong," he said. "If Pavarotti could prove that classical music is not boring and dying, I could do it too."

Ananda has composed a new music virtuosic piano piece in a tribute to Pavarotti, who never had a chance to visit Indonesia.

Ananda's composition titled "I Wish Pavarotti Had Met Marzuki," is unique and represents his passion for both classical and Indonesian traditional music.

"Ismail Marzuki was one of Indonesia's greatest music maestros. I wish Pavarotti had visited Indonesia and met him. Imagine if they combined their music. It would have been a great piece of music," Ananda said.

He said his new work will combine Javanese gamelan with the artistry of Pavarotti and Puccini.

"People often say classical music is boring and it is meant only for rich people. I want to change that stereotype and I want people to get know more about classical music. That is why I combine Javanese gamelan [and classical music] in my work, so it can be accepted by Indonesian audiences," he said.

Ananda said he believes that if Marzuki was used as one of the nation's cultural assets and the government seriously introduced his music to the world, "it would boost the image of Indonesian music as much as Puccini did for Italy, or Mozart for Austria."

Ananda will premiere his own work during the concert, which is expected to be a milestone in cultural relations between Italy and Indonesia.

The event will form part of the Vivere all'Italiana, or Italian Way of Life festival, an innovative integrated promotion strategy developed by Italy's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Education to strengthen the influence of the country's culture and economy.

"Pavarotti was not only a tenor maestro, but he was also a great, charismatic man and one of the most respected Italian artists. We have always wanted to present his work," Italian Cultural Institute Jakarta director Michaela Linda Magri said during a press conference on Tuesday (07/11).