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Satyagraha (opera)

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8.6/10 IMDb

Satyagraha (opera) httpsstatic01nytcomimages20111107artsSA
Writer  Constance DeJong (libretto), Philip Glass (libretto), Mohandas K. Gandhi (autobiography "Satyagraha")

Satyagraha by philip glass excerpt

Satyagraha (; Sanskrit सत्याग्रह, satyāgraha "insistence on truth") is a 1979 opera in three acts for orchestra, chorus and soloists, composed by Philip Glass, with a libretto by Glass and Constance DeJong.


Satyagraha (opera) Satyagraha English National Opera MusicalCriticismcom Opera Review

Loosely based on the life of Mahatma Gandhi, it forms the second part of Glass's "Portrait Trilogy" of operas about men who changed the world, which includes Einstein on the Beach and Akhnaten.

Satyagraha (opera) Philip Glass Glass Satyagraha Amazoncom Music

Glass's style can broadly be described as minimalist. The work is scored for 2 sopranos, 2 mezzo-sopranos, 2 tenors, a baritone, 2 basses, a large SATB chorus, and an orchestra of strings and woodwinds only, no brass or percussion. Principal roles are Sonja Schlesin, Mahatma Gandhi, Hermann Kallenbach and Parsi Rustomji.

Satyagraha (opera) Glass Satyagraha ENO MusicalCriticismcom Opera review

The title refers to Gandhi's concept of non-violent resistance to injustice, Satyagraha, and the text, from the Bhagavad Gita, is sung in the original Sanskrit. In performance, translation is usually provided in supertitles.

Satyagraha (opera) GP at the Met Satyagraha About the Opera Great Performances PBS

Performance history

Satyagraha (opera) The opera novice Satyagraha by Philip Glass Telegraph

Satyagraha was commissioned by the city of Rotterdam, Netherlands, and first performed at the Schouwburg (Municipal Theatre) there on September 5, 1980, by the Netherlands Opera, featuring the choir of the Rotterdam Conservatory and the Utrecht Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Bruce Ferden.

Satyagraha (opera) Philip Glass Satyagraha YouTube

The opera premiered in North America at the Artpark in Lewiston, New York, on July 29, 1981. It was also staged that same year by the Stuttgart Opera (which went on to perform the complete trilogy in 1990); this production was taped during its revival in 1983 and released on video.

The UK premiere was a joint production by Bath Spa University and Frome Community College in the theatre of Kingswood School in Bath in 1997.

Silviu Purcărete staged a new production of the opera in 2004 at the Theater Bonn, Germany, with a revival in 2013, with Ulrich Windfuhr conducting the Beethoven Orchester Bonn.

In 2007 a new UK staging was prepared by the English National Opera and Improbable theatre, co-produced by the Metropolitan Opera in New York. This opened in London in April and in New York the following April. Well received, it was revived in London in February 2010 and in New York in November 2011; the New York performance on November 19 was part of the Met Opera: Live in HD series.

On September 16, 2014, a new production was staged at the Ekaterinburg State Academic Opera in Russia. The creative team included Thaddeus Strassberger (direction and scenic design), Mattie Ullrich (costume design) and Oliver von Dohnányi (conductor).


The opera is in three acts, each referencing a major related cultural figure.

Act 1

Leo Tolstoy

  • On the Kuru Field of Justice
  • Tolstoy Farm (1910)
  • The Vow (1906)
  • Act 2

    Rabindranath Tagore

  • Confrontation and Rescue (1896)
  • Indian Opinion (1906)
  • Protest (1908)
  • Act 3

    Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • Newcastle March (1913)
  • Recordings

  • S. Woods, D. Perry; Keene, New York City Opera orchestra and chorus. 1984 (Sony)
  • References

    Satyagraha (opera) Wikipedia
    Satyagraha (opera) IMDb