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WHERE ELEPHANTS WEEP Debuts in Lowell

Kay Roberts knows a thing or two about music. In addition to her day job as Music Professor at UMass Lowell, Roberts is also founder and director of Lowell's New England Orchestra (NEO), a professional chamber orchestra committed to linking cultures through music. But when Roberts traveled to Cambodia to hear noted composer Him Sophy's contemporary opera, she describes being in "unexplored music territory."

"Where Elephants Weep" is an opera based loosely on a cherished 'Romeo and Juliet' Khmer story. "It's a love story, of course," says Roberts. "It's the tale of a Cambodian-American, Sam, who is urged by his best friend to return home to his cultural roots. He gives up his career in the U.S., joins the monkhood in Phnom Penh, and falls in love with a Cambodian karaoke star."

4/23/07