Greetings and Tashi Delek on the auspicious occasion of 20th Shoton Festival, celebrating the age old tradition of Ache Lhamo or Tibetan opera. Shoton Festival, known as “Yoghurt Festival” is a traditional Tibetan opera festival organized in Drepung Monastery and subsequently in Norbu Linkha, the summer palace of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
We are really fortunate that His holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso has graciously consented to grace the opening ceremony of the 20th Shoton Opera Festival as Chief Guest. On behalf of all the participating troupes and we express our sincere gratitude to him for his graceful presence, continued guidance and support in promoting the theatrical and musical heritage of Tibet.
Preserving the cultural heritage of Tibet, on the advice of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the institute organized the First Grand Shoton Festival in 1993 with participation of 4 troupes. It was a festival not just dedicated to promote Tibetan opera but to recreate and relive the glorious chapters of Tibetan civilization. Over the years the festival has grown in stature and grandeur. I take great pleasure in sharing that in addition to the Nine existing opera troupes in exile, we have now three more new troupes joining us in this year’s festival.
Despite our hectic schedule throughout the year, I am also happy to share that the artistes of the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts will be premiering a new opera during this year festival “Toenpae Zenam” – based on Life and teachings of Lord Buddha.
The festival will open on 27th April and will run through to 5th of April 2015. We have 432 opera artistes from twelve different troupes to showcase their talents and artistic skills. On behalf of all the participating troupes and members of the institute I wish you all a great experience.
With best wishes,
Wangdu Tsering Phesur,