Fans crowd the stage for photos with the stars after the concert. Photo by: OU MOM
AFTER last weekend’s two-day concert at Bayon Temple billed as Tribute to the Masters, audience members were frank in their views of teenage soprano Bosba Panh’s talents.
Him Ryna, a 26-year-old student from Build Bright University who attended the concert featuring overseas artists, said she was proud of the clarity of Bosba Panh’s voice, which she said was rare among Cambodian artists, especially one aged only 13.
“However, I’m a little bit disappointed that Bosba sings Khmer songs unclearly,” she said.
“I think it is necessary for a Cambodian to sing and speak the Khmer language fluently, as I know she speaks and sings several languages,” she added.
Sorn Sopheap, a Siem Reap resident who came along to the concert with several fellow villagers, said she was proud for the young stage artist. “I like her voice and her performance for society. But when I listened to her Khmer songs, I couldn’t understand the meaning,” Sopheap said. “However, I think she has plenty of time to learn it since she is so young and her voice is very sweet and soft.”
Businessman Prim Theara, 50, said he was one of the few people in his row of seats to stay until the end of the concert, saying many people left early because they didn’t understand the lyrics.
The second number of the evening was sung in Sanskrit and English by Cambodian tenor Khuon Sitisak, who now lives in Russia.
Other artists who appeared during the concert included Laura Mam from The Like Me’s, Eng Ji Nary and Sarah O’Brien.
Distinguished Khmer artists who contributed to the concert included Yann Borin, a retired composer at the Royal University of Fine Art, who wrote a song for Bosba Panh about famed compassionate queen Indradevi, and accompanied her on a seven-holed traditional flute.
“Bosba’s voice flies so high and has reached an international standard, but it was hard to teach her to recite the Khmer poem clearly because her tongue is not yet flexible enough for the language,” he said.