Shalimar the Clown
Composer: Jack Perla
Composer Bio: Jack Perla was recently commissioned by the Minnesota Opera to compose a full evening work for their 50th anniversary. In 2008 he participated in Composers and the Voice, a program of American Opera Projects. He's currently at work on a new piece for the Paul Dresher Ensemble with tenor Thomas Glen, and several other projects including Love/Hate with AOP and a new work for Tapestry New Opera in Toronto. Jack earned his DMA at the Yale School of Music, where he studied with Martin Bresnick, Jacob Druckman and Lukas Foss. He has received commissions, awards, grants and performances from the Oakland Symphony, James Irvine Foundation, Louisiana Philharmonic, New Music Chicago, Absolute Ensemble, Argosy Fund for New Music, MATA, Chicago Symphony, Yaddo, MacDowell and many other organizations. He won the Thelonious Monk Institute Jazz Composers Award in 1997, and remains an active jazz performer & composer. Jack was commissioned by ODC/Dance to create the score for the dance theater work “On a Train Heading South” which recently toured the country.
Librettist: Rajiv Joseph
Librettist Bio: Rajiv Joseph is a Pulitzer Prize finalist and an award winning playwright. Rajiv has been called “daring, magnificent, and virtuosic” by the L.A. Times. Rajiv Joseph wrote Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo (a 2010 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize), Huck and Holden, Gruesome Playground Injuries, Animals Out of Paper, The Monster at the Door, and The North Pool. He is the book-writer and co-lyricist for the upcoming musical, Fly, adapted from JM Barrie’s novel, Peter Pan. Rajiv Joseph received his BA in Creative Writing from Miami University and his MFA in Playwriting from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He served for three years in the Peace Corps in Senegal, West Africa. Rajiv has been awarded a United States Artists Grant, the Whiting Award, the Glickman Award, and the National Endowment for the Arts Outstanding New American Play grant. He is currently a writer on the Showtime television series Nurse Jackie.
Original Cast: Sean Panikkar
Katherine Goeldner
Premiere Date: June 11, 2016
Description:  Shalimar the Clown tells the story of Shalimar and his beloved Boonyi, who have grown up together in a pastoral Kashmiri village, making people laugh as acrobats and dancers in a traditional folk theater. Though one is Muslim and one is Hindu, they fall in love – and despite all odds, their village embraces their marriage. But when a new American ambassador sees Boonyi dance, dark clouds gather. The promise of a new life tears their love apart and sends Shalimar down a path of revenge.

Click here for more detailed information on this North American work.
Character List (Major): Boonyi Kaul / India Ophuls         lyric soprano
Shalimar                                          tenor                                 
Max  Ophals, ambassador          baritone, bass baritone
Peggy Ophuls                                 mezzo soprano
Bulbul Fakh, the Iron Mullah      bass, bass baritone (higher)
Abdullah Sher Noman                  bass, bass baritone  (lower)
Firdaus Noman                                            contralto, mezzo soprano
Payraleyl                                         lyric baritone
Gopinath (teacher)                       tenor
Zahir                                                lyric baritone (high)
Bombur Yarmbazal                       bass baritone
Clumsy God                                    bass
Giant                                                bass
Two Brothers                                 tenors
Comments: 2015 Recipient of Opera America Audience Development Grant.

Shalimar the Clown will be the first installment in a cycle of new works presented by Opera Theatre of Saint Louis following a $750,000 grant from the Whitaker Foundation and a $1,000,000 Challenge Grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. 

1624.jpg is a photo of Shalimar the Clown
Length: 02:15
Total Acts: 2
2 Flutes (2nd dbl picc)                                                                
2 Oboes  (2nd dbl. cor anglais)                                                                 
2 Clarinets (2nd dbl bs clar.)                                                                    
2 Bassoons (2nd dbl. contra)                                                                    
4 Horns                                                           
2 Trumpets                                                                   
2 Trombones (2nd IS bs trombone)                                                                       
1 Tuba                                                             
1 Timpani                                                                      
2  Percussion                                                                 
1 Piano/Celeste
3  Specialty East Indian Instruments (tabla,               sitar, bansuri)                                                 
Contact: Not Available
Composer Web Site:
To have your company’s photos included in the header rotation, send photos that are at least 1200px wide and 550px tall to Please note that submission of photos does not guarantee inclusion.
All OPERA America facilities are handicapped accessible. The National Opera Center features ground-level entry with elevators to the venue. All spaces are wheelchair accessible, and modular seating can be arranged to accommodate wheelchair users for all programs and performances. Handicapped accessible restrooms are available on all floors.
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001
Tel: 212.796.8620 • Fax: 212.796.8621

Privacy PolicyReturns Policy
2015 Form 990FY16 Audited Financial Statement
© Copyright 1995-2017 OPERA America Inc.

Technical issue with the website? Let us know.