A Composer’s Notes: Philip Glass and the Making of an Opera
Orange Mountain Music OMM5007
March 4, 2014
Directed by Michael Blackwood, the film A Composer’s Notes takes the form of an interior monologue as Philip Glass allows us an intimate look at the inspiration, development, and production of his third opera, Akhnaten. Two productions of the opera premiere almost simultaneously, at the Stuttgart Opera and the Houston Grand Opera. Their dramatically different interpretations of the work make for a fascinating contrast in American and European theatrical values. Filmed at rehearsals and performances in Germany and the United States. In Egypt, Glass visits the remaining evidence of Akhnaten in Armana. where Akhnaten moved his palace from Luxor to pursue his monotheistic worship. The film was also made in India, a country whose music influenced Glass in his formative years when he collaborated with Ravi Shankar. It includes interviews with conductors and directors and back to two earlier Glass operas: Einstein on the Beach and Satyagraha. Now more than three decades after its creation, Akhnaten proves to be a watershed moment in Glass’ career.
Directed by Michael Blackwood