Called by the International Herald Tribune “the most wellknown expatriate Thai in the world”, Somtow Sucharitkul is a composer, author and media personality whose talents have entertained fans the world over. His first career was in music. He founded the Thai Composers’ Association, and was the permanent representative of Thailand to the International Music Council of UNESCO. In 1999, he as commissioned to compose what turned out to be the first opera by a Thai composer ever premiered, Madana, inspired by a fairytale-like play written by King Rama VI of Siam and dedicated to his wife, Queen Indrasaksachi, who was also the composer’s great-aunt. The opera premiered in February 2001 in Bangkok in what was called, by Opera Now magazine, “one of the operatic events of the year. Somtow’s second opera on a Thai theme, Mae Naak, opened in 2003 in Bangkok, and Ayodhya, Somtow’s opera version of the Ramayana, in November 2006.
The artistic director of the Bangkok Opera is Mr Somtow Sucharitkul. The Bangkok Opera is the only opera company in South East Asia that puts on a full season of opera productions, including Puccini, Verdi, Mozart, Purcell, and an ongoing production of the entire Ring Cycle by Richard Wagner. The Bangkok Opera also produces Somtow’s own operas and has been well reviewed in international publications like the New York Times and Opera Now.