Happily the new opera The Perfect American, about visionary Walt Disney, has been receiving lots of press in advance of its world premiere in four days. While "all press is good press," there has been a lot of inaccurate information going around.
The accusations have ranged from:
the opera being a scandalous indictment of Walt Disney the racist fraud who could not draw;
assertions that the Disney Co. has actively tried to stop the opera from going forward and insisted on approval over the libretto.
None of these things are true. As Glass has done with past operas, The Perfect American is a portrait of a visionary. Glass will undoubtedly be fair in presenting the character of Disney though he says it will be a "poetic" interpretation as opera lies in the realm of poetry not fact.
In this interview he says that Disney was a person of his time and place (an allusion to racism, I suppose), but Glass goes on to say that that was a sympton of the composer's own time and place growing up in Baltimore half a century ago. Disney was no better and no worse in that regard. Yes there will be bad elements of the character of Disney, but Glass states that this will be a "tribute" more than anything else. And he's very clear about it.
In any case, seeing this video is a refreshing dose of reality after the recent conjecture in the press. And we even get to hear a few bars of the music.
1 thought on “Glass Sets the Record Straight”
I think that it was smart of (http://www.tricountyglass.ca/about.html) Glass to do this opera. I think he should come have it performed up in Cambridge. I love those old Disney movies, and would love to learn more about Walt.