Thai-born composer and science fiction writer SOMTOW SUCHARITKUL has warned his forthcoming opera will "appall" his cultured countrymen because its format is inspired by Hollywood action movies. Billed by Sucharitkul as "the world's first grand opera", AYODHYA is based on Asia's classic RAMAYANA epic. The Ramayana is traditionally a showcase for the classical dance traditions of India and the south east Asian countries where it is part of the cultural heritage. Sucharithul, however, wants to give it a modern touch, and insists he is ready for a backlash from traditional opera fans. He says, "I hope it will not offend anyone. But many people in Thailand may find it appalling. "It's an opera written for people who grew up on Star Wars and The Lord Of The Rings. "At the same time, the opera is not a simple retelling, but a complete rethinking of the Ramayana in terms of contemporary society and culture."