Glass’ 2003 opera is mounted next week in Pittsburgh at the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh. These smaller pieces which have flown under the radar compared to the film scores and grand operas, somehow show a more intimate voice from a composer who is extremely comfortable on the largest stages. I recall a piece in the Boston Globe on "Voice" in 2003 leading up to its premiere. The chamber scoring for pipa, flute, cello and percussion, compliment a deeper investigation by Glass into writing for the english language. This may sound like an obvious practice for one of the world’s most prodigious opera composers, but my impression of the opera was an incredible clarity in presentation of the Hwang text…a sort of Glass Sprechstimme if you will.
Experiences like this clearly informed the composer’s later vocal works. An instrumental suite from "The Sound of a Voice" can be heard on OMM’s latest release, Theater Music.