Monday, June 5, 2017

Philip Glass


Last night at the American premier of Philip Glass' opera The Trial, based on Franz Kafka's discomfiting novel. At a reception after the performance, the composer was flanked by Opera Theatre of St. Louis' General Director, Timothy O'Leary, and librettist Cristopher Hampton. Not the greatest picture but I was using my little Olympus under a tent with ordinary light bulbs. 

Glass is something of a hero to me. I wrote recently about encountering the early Stravinsky ballets. A few years later, I read about Glass and heard Music In Fifths, Music In Changing Parts, North Star and the Dances. It smashed my concept of what music could be as throughly as did The Rite of Spring. Then Mrs. C and I attended the performances of Einstein On The Beach and The Photographer at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. And then the trilogy of movies with Godfrey Reggio, the searing Koyanaasqatsi, Powaqqatsi and Naqoyqatsi. And others operas, including Akhenaten, about the ancient Egyptian monothesist, and Satyagraha,  set in the time the young Gandhi lived in South Africa. It's a minority opinion, but I think the latter is the greatest opera of the 20th Century.

So it was a pleasure to hear his newer work and to see him again. He recently turned 80 and looked a little frail. I hope he keeps writing and writing.

4 comments:

Sharon Anck said...

I think this photo turned out pretty good!

Paul in Powell River said...

We may disagree about the greatest opera of the 20th century, but no disagreement about the composer. I've never seen a live performance of his work - and probably never will unfortunately - so I envy you that.

William Kendall said...

Everything I've heard from him thus far I have enjoyed.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

A really special night for you both Bob. Sad to say I can't remember the last time I went to the opera!