Mumbai, March 17 (IANS) The Friday premiere of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's opera 'Padmavati' at Theatre Du Chatelet was attended by several celebrities in Paris.
Said an eyewitness at the premiere: 'Some of Paris' most well-known figures from arts, culture and politics were present to see Sanjay's version of 'Padmavati'. Among them was legendary French designer Jean-Paul Gaultier, who slipped in minutes before the performance with his lady friend and watched the performance.'
Apparently, Sanjay could not recognise the designer. It was his sister Bela, who pointed out the presence of Gaultier and whispered into her brother's ear. At the party held after the premiere, it was Sanjay's unaffected and utterly gregarious mother who bonded with Gaultier and his lady friend, who was taken up with the disarming simplicity of Bhansali's mother.
Said the guest: 'Sanjay's mom took to Gaultier and his leading lady and even invited them to India on her son's behalf. Sanjay was too nervous and preoccupied to converse with Gaultier or anyone else at the premiere. His focus was on getting everything right. And when, it went well he simply sat back and relaxed for the first time in two months.'
Sanjay wore a Rajesh Pratap Singh creation.
'But it didn't matter what he wore. His concentration was on getting the show right. Now the opera producers are making big plans for Padmavati's progression in Paris and abroad,' the guest said.
For the opening night, 'Saawariya' duo Ranbir and Sonam Kapoor were also expected to join Sanjay and his family in Paris, but has to bow out at the last minute because of packed schedules.
'But it didn't really matter because I knew I had the good wishes of the entire country with me,' the director said.
'We had a private staging of the play a day before the play opened to the public. The press and the elite audience were extremely positive. Now that 'Padmavati' has opened to such an overwhelming ovation, all I can say is I feel I was to the opera born. V. Shantaram's colourful flamboyant style of filmmaking was always my forte. On the stage, I got a chance to pay homage to Shantaram without bothering about camera angles. 'Padmavati' is me unexpunged,' Bhansali said.
The forthcoming shows of the play are already booked in advance.
Sanjay is looking at a work that's fated to become the first worldwide operatic triumph by an Indian creator. 'I'm so much into it right now, so consumed by the crew's commitment and infected by the audiences' response that I can't think of anything else. All I want to say to people back home in India is if I've made the country proud, then I've succeeded as an individual and an artiste,' he said.