"If Grant Had Been Singing at Appomattox"
The New York Times, September 23, 2007
A conversation with Philip Glass about two major operatic events coming up this season: the premiere of Appomattox at San Francisco Opera on October 5, and the first Metropolitan Opera production of Satyagraha next April. Despite nearly 30 years separating Glass's creation of the two works, both tackle the same basic issues of racial discrimination and social justice. The contexts are vastly different, but not so very far apart from a historical perspective. And neither opera is strictly bound by its temporal setting. Where the two differ most fundamentally, it seems to me, is a function of the evolution that has taken place in Glass's compositional style and dramaturgical conception.
I spent an hour or so tonight working on a post about Glass's long history of treating social themes on the operatic stage, with a graceful segue into some thoughts about the bombshell news of Gérard Mortier's inaugural season at New York City Opera. Unfortunately, when I was about 99.9% finished, my browser crashed, and I lost all of it. It's too late at night to deal with it now, but I'll try to find the time to put my thoughts together again tomorrow.