Maestro Premasiri Khemadasa is back in action. He brings back his
'Sinhala Avurudda' symphony tonight at Bishop’s College auditorium
along with other items in a programme titled 'Khemadasa in Concert'.
exciting news when we hear of a Khemadasa concert. It gives us a
chance of enjoying some of his creations over the years as well
as new ones. His creations never get stale. It was in the mid sixties
that he first performed the symphony on Sinhala New Year which was
described as 'a symphonic poem'. The second symphony was 'The Sea'
portraying man's dependence on the sea and the hardships he has
to undergo in his struggle to live with the help of the sea.
my time' expressing a son's feelings for his mother and his hopes
for the future was dedicated to his 92-year old mother who died
just a few days before the symphony was staged.
will include excerpts from the highly acclaimed 'Manasavila', which
Khemadasa described as "an attempt to combine voice, music
and drama to create something that expresses the sum of modern human
life and experience". 'Pirinivan Mangallaya' dealing with the
passing away of the Buddha, and 'Sondura Varnadasi', his latest
opera based on the Kanavera Jataka will also be featured, along
with some of his other creations. Khemadasa's daughters studying
music in Prague will also take part, one playing the cello and the
other, the piano.
Theatre's golden jubilee
My good friend and one time Observer colleague Neville Weeraratne
reminded all of us last week that the Lionel Wendt Theatre completes
50 years next December. The reminder came all the way from Melbourne
where Neville is domiciled. Right now he is busy working on a commemorative
volume to mark the big event.
capabilities from the days he was in charge of the layout of the
Observer Magazine Edition -as the Sunday Observer was called in
the mid --sixties and both of us used to do night duty on the day
prior to its publication, he should turn out an attractive volume.
We have been
fortunate to enjoy Lionel Wendt's superb photographs through several
publications. Quite apart from 'Lionel Wendt's Ceylon' (first printed
in 1950 and reprinted in 1995) and the Centennial Volume put out
in 2000 by the Lionel Wendt Memorial Fund, his photographs have
been featured in several publications. 'Through the lens brightly'
was the title of a photographic feature in Serendib, the Air Lanka
magazine in 1989.
Five years later,
Serendib carried another feature titled 'Renaissance Man - creator
of a truly Sri Lankan idiom'. 'Rediscovering Lionel Wendt' was a
comprehensive life story of the man written by Manel Fonseka for
the well compiled catalogue released to mark the exhibition of Wendt
photographs in 1994.
to the Lionel Wendt Theatre in that article states: 'Alborada',
the house he built and lived in from the late '20s, was demolished
in 1950 to make way for the first stage of the Memorial complex.
The Memorial Theatre was opened in 1953, and the Lionel Wendt Memorial
Art Gallery in May 1959.