Director: Phelim McDermott
Designer: Julian Crouch
Lighting Designer: Paule Constable
Costume Designer: Kevin Pollard
Associate Lighting Designer: Kevin Sleep
Video Design: Leo Warner and Mark Grimmer
Metropolitan Opera New York
April - May 2008
Satyagraha by Philip Glass and Constance DeJong was staged in April 2007 as a co-production between the English National Opera, The Metropolitan Opera New York and Improbable at the Coliseum, Leicester Square, London. Spring 2008 will see the production open in New York.
Using multiple projectors to cover the entire performance area, Fifty Nine Productions created a range of visual material which appeared throughout the show. Large scale textual projections replaced surtitles, and an aesthetic based on Gandhi's newspaper, The Indian Opinion informed the overall video design.
"The production is a work of genius that ranges from the very simple to the fantastically ambitious ... A sense of playful fantasy somehow suits the meditative mood of the music and the serious needs of the religious and political subject matter.
"Satyagraha" is not among this season's high-definition broadcasts of Met productions at movie theaters. Someone who knows the ways of the company told me that adding it to the schedule could cost a million dollars.
They should find a million dollars."
"Satyagraha” emerges here as a work of nobility, seriousness, even purity."
"The Improbable theater company's production of Philip Glass's "Satyagraha," which opened at the Metropolitan Opera on Friday night, represents the kind of work the Met should be doing. It is an important revival of a major recent piece. It is a significant work of theater. And it provides an all too rare demonstration of the fact that new opera can indeed be a contemporary art....a profound and beautiful work of theater. The final act is a masterpiece of the power of simplicity."
"For this new production, introduced last year at the English National Opera, director Phelim McDermott and designer Julian Crouch fashioned scenes as enigmatic and transcendent as Glass’s music. Portions of Constance DeJong’s libretto, adapted from the Bhagavad Gita, are projected onto a curved wall of corrugated iron that frames the action. Ordinary materials such as newspaper and packing tape are transformed into props, scenery and animated creatures, gracefully manipulated by stilt-walkers and aerialists...the most achingly beautiful presentation the Met has introduced since Anthony Minghella’s Madama Butterfly in 2006."
Read an interview with Philip Glass about the production in Newsweek
"Hypnotic visual and musical magic."
"A transcendent evening of theater and one of the most striking new Met productions of recent years....The production is a constantly unfolding phantasmagoria of surprises."
Please click here to read information and reviews of the original 2006 staging of this production at the Coliseum.