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Jakarta Post

Tan Malaka: An opera of absence

  • Prodita Sabarini

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, May 7 2011   /  08:00 am

Torch lit: The Paragita choir of the University of Indonesia sings at the Opera Tan Malaka at Graha Bhakti Budaya, Ismail Marzuki cultural center, Jakarta.Tan Malaka is a story of absence, mystery and, ultimately, about not knowing. The opera incorporates these themes into its very structure and communicates a subdued feeling of absence.

Throughout the work moments of silence — and the absence of the character for whom the work is named  — gave the audience a sense of incompleteness.

The opera, a collaboration between libretti Goenawan Mohamad and composer Tony Prabowo, was re-staged in Graha Bhakti Budaya (GBB) at the Taman Ismail Marzuki cultural center on April 23.

Tan Malaka was first performed for the public at the Salihara Theater in October. The performance commemorated both Goenawn’s 70th birthday and the 40th anniversary of Tempo, the magazine ...