I saw one of the most intriguing and visually/aurally stunning things today, being (the Met Opera’s Live in HD screening of) Philip Glass’ opera, Satyagraha.
First of all, it’s about Gandhi. Second, it’s sung in Sanskrit and, more precisely, the text consists of lines from the Bhagavad Gita
. Third, it has an incredibly extravagant stage and abstract collection of props controlled by the skills ensemble, who are also part of the cast. Fourth, only a few (fragmentary) subtitles are provided for what is being sung, and these subtitles are actually (and rather brilliantly) incorporated into the stage and props via projections. Fifth, if everyone goes and sees this opera and keeps it running for years to come, the newspaper industry (and, subsequently, the recycling industry) will never die. Not to mention the packing tape industry.
I’ll actually be in NY for the last live performance of this opera, but, alas, I already have tickets to a nerdy (i.e. Classics-related) event at BAM. If you can see it before it ends, do try, as I definitely think this is the type of thing that would be best experienced live (especially to really grasp the size of those newspaper puppets). But, then again, you’d never get to see up close the damage that stage makeup does to the collar of a white shirt.
(Photo by Sara Krulwich, via NYTimes.com)