The Metropolitan Opera announced that its co-production of Philip Glass’s Satyagraha with the English National Opera will debut next season on April 11, 2008. The ENO is doing nine performances of Satyagraha this April. Written in 1980, Satyagraha is based on Gandhi’s formative years in South Africa, as he developed his philosophy of nonviolent protest as a powerful force for change. It is the second work in the ”portrait” trilogy by Glass, which also includes Einstein on the Beach (1975) and Akhnaten (1983-84). Satyagraha involves the director Phelim McDermott and the designer Julian Crouch, two of the three artistic directors of the visionary British theater company Improbable.
On the bad news front, the Met has dumped a scheduled revival of Tobias Picker’s honorable An American Tragedy in favor of Tan Dun’s terminally lame The First Emperor, apparently because it has a chance to take the production on the road to China.
It’s great to see that Peter Gelb is going with artistic merit and not being tempted by the possibility of big crowds and big bucks.