Originally commissioned by New York City Opera before the financial crisis, Glass’ work has instead been premiered by Teatro Real in Madrid. Staged by British director Phelim McDermott, who produced the well-received Gandhi opera “Satayagraha” for the Metropolitan Opera and the English National Opera, the opera examines a darker, more troubled life for the father of family fun.
Critics have had high praise for the caliber of the cast, and for the imaginative staging. It will next be seen at London’s English National Opera in June, 2013.
“Baritone Christopher Purves has captured in Disney the charisma, arrogance and humanity of the man, and it’s already a candidate for one of the most important opera performances of the year,” the Los Angeles Times says. “He makes racist or anti-Semitic remarks sound not like tirades but like attitudes that were all too common at the time, especially around Los Angeles.”
Gramophone asks: “Can an opera on Michael Jackson be far behind?” Probably not.