Philip Glass’s 25th opera The Perfect American was originally commissioned for New York City Opera during the aborted regime of Gerard Mortier. When his hiring fell through in 2008, Mortier and his planned City Opera projects headed for Teatro Real Madrid, where the piece opened in January 2013. The story tells of the final days of Walt Disney as he was dying of cancer in 1966, based on the novel Der Konig von Amerika by Peter Stephan Jungk, a fictionalized account of Disney being stalked by a fired employee who sought to unionize Disney’s employees and get them the credit they deserved for much of the actual drawing of the Disney characters. (Saving Mr. Banks it ain’t.) Read more »
“Is a work an opera simply because its creators choose to call it one?” That was just one of the questions swirling around in my mind as I experienced the revival of Einstein on the Beach at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on Sunday. This seminal 1976 meditation on the great physicist by Robert Wilson and Philip Glass provides audiences with plenty to mull over during its nearly four-and-a-half hour intermissionless running time. For me, seeing it again for the first time since 1984 provoked mixed feelings. Read more »
The repertory for the upcoming season of the English National Opera (also known as “Peter Gelb‘s shopping list”) boasts the world premiere of a new opera by Philip Glass, The Perfect American, which imagines the last days of Walt Disney.
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.”