8 April 2007

Philip Glass' Satyagraha at ENO


I could not miss the rare opportunity to hear a Philip Glass opera and so tonight I went to the English National Opera to see Satyagraha.

The performance was excellent and the staging was interesting if somewhat confusing at times ~ I have no idea what the purpose of all that cellophane was! Overall though, it worked very very well and even the critics agree with this. For the best part of three hours I was mesmerised by the music and the singing which, in the absence of anything you might reasonably call a plot, is the essence of the opera.

That's my second visit to ENO in recent months, the last time was for John Adams' Nixon in China. It's good to see somebody doing modern classics like that and not just the usual repertoire of Tosca, Madam Butterfly et al.

As a venue, however, ENO is rather old fashioned and leaves a little to be desired by modern standards, but not as much as the disastrous Royal Opera House. If you want to see what an opera house should look like these days then go to Glydebourne.

1 comment:

  1. I reckon the strings of cellophane represented homespun yarn. Gandhi advocated indigenous production of textiles ("kadhi" in Hindi) as a representation of Indian independence. You get this stuff in India to this day, and people go mad buying it on Gandhi's birthday. This would tally with the shedding of Western clothes (beginning with shoes and coats) by Gandhi as the opera progressed.

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