Improbable return to direct Philip Glass’s Satyagraha
Date published: Fri 18 Dec 2009
sub-text is politics. Satyagraha is semi-narrative in form, hypnotically ritualistic in style and deals with Mahatma Gandhi’s early years in South Africa and his development of non-violent protests as a political tool.
Each of the three acts depicts a ‘spiritual guardian’ who is linked to the Satyagraha philosophy. In Act 1 this is Tolstoy: Philip Glass believes that Gandhi and Tolstoy, who were friends, shared the same combination of the spiritual and the political. In Act 2 it is the Indian mystic and poet Tagore, whom Gandhi acknowledged as a great moral authority. The ‘guardian’ of Act 3, Martin Luther King Junior, impressed Glass as ‘a sort of American Gandhi’, who fought the same battles and accomplished many shared objectives, using the weapon of peaceful mass resistance. Together, Tolstoy, Tagore and King represent the past, present and future of Satyagraha.
Phelim McDermott has been directing and performing since 1984, and has collaborated with designer Julian Crouch on several productions, including Shockheaded Peter, which has been seen worldwide to massive critical and audience acclaim. In 2010 this remarkable duo will bring a new musical, The Addams Family, to Broadway.
Conductor Stuart Stratford returns to ENO, following his debut in 2004, to lead a stellar cast consisting of Alan Oke as M.K. Grandhi following his acclaimed performance in the premiere at ENO in 2007. He is joined by Elena Xanthoudakis as Miss Schlesen, Janis Kelly as Mrs Naidoo, Ashley Holland as Mr Kallenbach, James Gower sings a double role as Lord Krishnal and Parsi Rustomji and Robert Poulton as the Prince. New to the production are Stephanie Marshall as Kasturbai and Anne Mason as Mrs Alexander. Integrated with the ENO Chorus is a team of 12 skills artists including aerialists, puppeteers and regular performers with Improbable.
Satyagraha opens at the London Coliseum on 25 February for 9 performances – 4, 12, 18, 19, 25 & 26 March at 7pm and 6 & 13 March at 6pm.
Original production supported by the 20/20 Group
A collaboration with Improbable
A co-production with the Metropolitan Opera, New York
Box Office: 0871 911 0200 or online www.eno.org