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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 June, 2004, 11:54 GMT 12:54 UK
Opera to tackle life of Gaddafi
Colonel Gaddafi
Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi came to power in 1969
British band Asian Dub Foundation have been commissioned to write an opera about Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi.

The band normally play a fiery mix of rock, dance and Asian beats - but guitarist Chandrasonic is now working with the English National Opera (ENO).

ENO artistic director Sean Doran said: "[Gaddafi] is a subject matter of our time, and I think with opera we have to look at the stories around us."

The opera is expected to be completed for performance in 2006.

Chandrasonic, real name Steve Chandra Savale, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme he first thought of doing a Gaddafi opera six or seven years ago, "though I might not have called it an opera".


"When I was much younger, all of a sudden this person popped into the press who was completely demonised and seen as the mad dog, and recently we have seen this journey from demonisation to rehabilitation," he said.

"I think it is to do with the nature of his character and the nature of his thinking. The fact is, he is frightening but fascinating, the way he has pushed himself onto the world stage."

Speaking about the commission, Mr Doran said he wanted to find voices and artists "who had something to say" and be as inclusive as possible.

Chandrasonic is already working in the ENO Studio with ENO director of contemporary arts Alex Poots, but the opera is expected to take up to two years to reach the performance stage.

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