Bangkok Opera presents Wagner’s ‘Ring’ with a difference

Bangkok Opera presents Wagner's 'Ring' with a difference - NYT, April 18, 2006
... His work has also been dogged by the internecine rivalry of Bangkok's classical music scene. The city has three orchestras, more than most European capitals. The original Bangkok Symphony, created in 1999, was followed in 2002 by Mr. Somtow's Siam Philharmonic, which also plays for the Bangkok Opera. Sugree Charoensook, dean of music at Mahidol University, established the Thailand Philharmonic last year with a full season and has been poaching the best of Bangkok's players.
In spite of attempts by Mr. Somtow to get the groups to consolidate their rehearsal schedules, Mr. Charoensook's concerts tend to fall on the same dates as Mr. Somtow's, forcing Mr. Somtow to cast about for players, who in the case of this season's "Rheingold" are from the Opera and Ballet Theater in Hanoi.
To safeguard his projects against what he sees as others' efforts to undermine him, Mr. Somtow is aiming to turn Bangkok into the hub of classical music making in Southeast Asia, and he recently inaugurated the first regional opera conference to encourage collaboration. There is nothing new in this. Like-minded American opera companies regularly cut deals on co-productions...
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