The man on the left with the krama is the legendary Ieng Sithul. Forget the other guy.
I mentioned last night that the extraordinary Cambodian performer Ieng Sithul
was involved in the new opera Where Elephants Weep and realized you may not have heard of this particular man, even though he's instantly recognizable in his homeland. Ieng Sithul is a master of many Khmer traditional instruments and a classical and traditional singer of great repute. He is from a musical family and sang professionally as a child before the Khmer Rouge years.
Afterwards, he studied instruments under his uncle, Meng Hun, the greatest instrumentalist of the last two decades. Sithul is now a familiar host on Cambodian television, radio (right) and stage and one of the most popular recording artists in Cambodia today. He has a deep knowledge of traditional culture and is a high-profile supporter of classical Khmer art with his involvement with Cambodian Living Arts. However for the last twelve years he has suffered from a heart ailment which has meant he has had to be very careful with his schedule. But that didn't stop this Khmer living legend from taking a group of young Cambodian folk dancers and musicians from the Tonle Bassac in Phnom Penh on a tour of the UK and Scotland in August, where they performed at the WOMAD Festival (WOMAD) in England and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, winning awards, rave reviews, and audience praise throughout. Now he's playing three parts no less in the headline-grabbing opera at the Chenla Theatre and gathering a new set of fans in the process. Long may he continue.
Labels: Ieng Sithul