An American opera company has announced to stage a show titled ‘Bhutto’ which will be based on the life of former premier of Pakistan, late Benazir Bhutto who was assassinated in December 2007. The show which was planned to open this year in Pennsylvania has now been pushed to 2019.
Mohammad Fairouz, who is a prominent Emirati-American composer along with Mohammad Hanif — an award-winning Pakistani novelist — will be commencing the show in Pittsburgh (USA), reported Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
“The opera focuses on Benazir Bhutto’s extraordinary life and the influences upon her, and the effect that her stand for women and their ability to lead has had on the world stage,” the General Director of Pittsburgh opera, Christopher Hahn said.
Fairouz has been classified as “an important new artistic voice” by The New York Times and “one of the most talented composers of his generation” by BBC. The report revealed that the show was initially planned to premiere in 2018, however, due to financial and artistic setbacks, it was discreetly moved to debut in 2019-20 season.
Fairouz revealed that he initially began thinking about the story of Bhutto six years ago. “Everybody had an opinion about Bhutto. It’s often very personal, very passionate. As a composer, you feel compelled to do something and then you’re like an animal sniffing at truffles trying to uncover why it is interesting,” the publication reported him as saying.
The acclaimed novelist Hanif stated that as soon as the idea was shared with him he agreed. “As soon as Fairouz suggested Bhutto as an opera I said yes. It’s a bizarre story; really over the top for a novel. The father was hung, one brother poisoned, one brother shot. It’s a perfect fit really, each family member could have their own opera,” he said. The author added that while he was unfamiliar with classical music opera he was familiar with Bhutto as he grew up observing them up-close.
Talking about the story the author further said, “it’s a family story that centres on power. It’s not intended to be divisive, but it’s political, so of course, it will be. But that’s not a bad thing.”