Called by the International Herald Tribune „the most wellknown expatriate Thai in the world“, Somtow Sucharitkul is a composer, author and media personality whose talents have entertained fans the world over. His first career was in music. He founded the Thai Composers` Assotiation, and was the permanent representative of Thailand to the International Music Council of UNESCO. In 1999, he was commisioned to compose what turned out to be the first opera by a Thai composer ever premiered, Madana, inspired by a fairytale-like plays written by King Rama VI of Siam and dedicated to his wife, Queen Indrasaksa who was also the composers`s great-aunt. The opera premiered in February 2001 in Bangkok in what a called, by Opera Now magazine, „one of the operatic events of the year“. Somtow is the artictic director of the Bangkok Opera. The Bangkok opera is the only opera company in South East Asia that puts on a full season of opera productions, including Puccini, Verdi, Mozart, Purcell, and Wagner. The Bangkok Opera also produces Somtow`s own operas and has been well reviewed in international publications like the New York Times and Opera Now.