Friday, August 18, 2017

Philip Glass

Philip Glass had his 80th birthday earlier this year.  I had no idea he had written so many operas.  Here is a list.

  • 1975–1976--Einstein on the Beach for the Philip Glass Ensemble (with Robert Wilson).  I saw this at Zellerbach in Berkeley when it toured in 2012.
  • 1978–1979--Satyagraha (premiered in 1980, libretto by Constance DeJong).  I first saw this in 1989 at the San Francisco Opera.  This was my first experience of a Glass opera.  I saw it again live at the Metropolitan Opera in 2008 and again in HD in 2011.
  • 1980--A Madrigal Opera for voices, violin and viola
  • 1982--The Photographer for soloists, chorus and orchestra (based on the life of Eadweard Muybridge)
  • 1983--Akhnaten (libretto by Philip Glass and Shalom Goldman)
  • 1984--The Civil Wars: A Tree Is Best Measured When It Is Down, Act V – The Rome Section (with Robert Wilson, libretto by Robert Wilson and Maita di Niscemi, including texts by Seneca the Younger)
  • 1985–1986--The Making of the Representative for Planet 8 (premiered in 1988, libretto by Doris Lessing, after her fourth novel from Canopus in Argos)
  • 1985--The Juniper Tree (with Robert Moran, libretto by Arthur Yorinks)
  • 1987--The Fall of the House of Usher (libretto by Arthur Yorinks after the short story by Edgar Allan Poe, )
  • 1988--1000 Airplanes on the Roof for voice and ensemble (text by David Henry Hwang )
  • 1990--The Voyage (premiered in 1992, libretto by David Henry Hwang)
  • 1990--Hydrogen Jukebox for voices and ensemble (libretto by Allen Ginsberg).  I saw this at the West Edge summer festival in 2014.
  • 1991--Orphée for voices and chamber orchestra (after the film by Jean Cocteau and premiered in 1993).  I saw this at Glimmerglass in the Orfeo 400 years celebration in 2007.  I think this is the opera I liked best.
  • 1991--White Raven (premiered as O Corvo Branco in 1998, with Robert Wilson, libretto by Luísa Costa Gomes)
  • 1994--La Belle et la Bête for voices and the Philip Glass Ensemble or chamber orchestra (, after the film by Jean Cocteau)
  • 1996--Les Enfants Terribles, Dance Opera for voices and three pianos (after Cocteau's novel and the film by Jean-Pierre Melville)
  • 1997--The marriages between zones three, four, and five (libretto by Doris Lessing, after her second novel from Canopus in Argos)
  • 1997--The Witches of Venice, children's opera-ballet 
  • 1998--Monsters of Grace, chamber opera for the Philip Glass Ensemble (, with 3D digital footage directed by Robert Wilson, libretto from works of Jalaluddin Rumi) 
  •  2000--In the Penal Colony for voices and string quintet (, libretto after the short story by Franz Kafka)
  • 2002--Galileo Galilei (libretto by Mary Zimmerman and Arnold Weinstein)
  • 2003--The Sound of a Voice for voices and chamber ensemble including a pipa (libretto by David Henry Hwang) 
  •  2005--Waiting for the Barbarians for voices, chorus and orchestra (after the novel by J. M. Coetzee)
  • 2007--Appomattox (libretto by Christopher Hampton).  I saw this at its world premiere at the San Francisco Opera in 2007.
  • 2009--Kepler (libretto by Martina Winkel, including texts by Johannes Kepler and Andreas Gryphius)
  • 2011--The Perfect American (based on the book about Walt Disney by Peter Stephan Jungk, premiered at the Teatro Real, Madrid, on January 22, 2013).  I watched the internet stream of the world premiere from Madrid.
  • 2013--Spuren der Verirrten (The Lost) (after the play by Peter Handke, premiered 12 April 2013 at the Musiktheater Linz (de), Austria)
  • 2014--The Trial (for voices and chamber orchestra; libretto by Christopher Hampton, based on the novel by Franz Kafka)
    That makes six Glass operas I have seen, but I have many more left to see.  The only one I feel curiosity about is Akhnaten.  There seems to be no dvd.

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