As suggested in Part I of this piece, to experience Glass’s Satyagraha as a purely aesthetic experience is unfortunately to succumb to a romantic ideology promoting detached reflection on art which is wholly inapplicable to such a politically-charged opera. The idea that Gandhi’s action-oriented philosophy would be packaged and sold for the sake of passive introspection would have bothered him deeply. Read more »
That Philip Glass’s opera about Gandhi’s nonviolent civil disobedience should be revived by the Metropolitan Opera in 2011—a year marked by nonviolent revolutions and uprisings around the globe—is timely, to say the least. The most recent production of his Satyagraha (1979) was first premiered by the Met in the spring of 2008 as America stood on the precipice of the most devastating economic crisis in three-quarters of a century. Read more »
There were rumors all day in the usual places, on the search string: Philip Glass, Lincoln Center, OWS. The opera, though hypnotic, passed quickly, and Glass took a curtain call, got a hero’s welcome. Well, we thought, he can’t be both places at once.
UPDATE: Philip Glass emerged from the Met tonight to read to the General Assembly (via mic check) the final lines from Satyagraha: “When righteousness/ Withers away/ And evil / Rules the Land /We come into being /Age after age/ And take visible shape /And move / A man among men/ For the protection/ Of good /Thrusting back evil /And setting virtue/ On her seat again.” Video of this speech (via The Rest is Noise) after the jump.
Composer Philip Glass will appear this evening in support of Occupy Museums in Lincoln Center plaza during the Met’s final performance this season of his Satyagraha. The demonstration is described by Occupy Museums as “an open conversation at 10:30 pm about the effects of increased privatization and corporatization of all aspects of society, and the use of nonviolent civil disobedience around the world to reclaim the commons.”
Critic Ann Binlot draws some perhaps rather obvious parallels between Satyagraha and the Occupy Wall Street movement in a brief feature on ARTINFO.