Columns linked to Phelim McDermott

Fourth Revival of Phelim McDermott’s Satyagraha at the London ...

Sam Smith

Philip Glass is recognised as one of the leading figures in minimalism today, and yet it is not a word he especially likes. This is understandable since it can severely underplay the variety of music that is all too often categorised under this one umbrella term. Glass himself has written over twenty-five operas, yet even if we look at just his trilogy that focuses on pivotal figures in the fields of science, politics and religion respectively, the styles of composition are markedly...


English National Opera at its Very Best in Akhnaten at the Lon...

Sam Smith

Philip Glass, who is recognised as one of the leading proponents of minimalism in the world today, has written over twenty-five operas, a total achieved by hardly any composer since the days of Rossini, Donizetti and Verdi. Three of these form the ‘portrait trilogy’, which focuses on pivotal figures in the fields of science, politics and religion respectively. Einstein on the Beach premiered in 1976, Satyagraha (about Mahatma Gandhi) followed in 1980, and then the triptych was...


The Truth about Satyagraha at the London Coliseum

Sam Smith

Philip Glass is recognised as one of the leading figures in minimalism today. He has written over twenty-five operas, and three of these form a trilogy that focus on pivotal figures in the fields of science, politics and religion respectively. Einstein on the Beach premiered in 1976 before the triptych was completed eight years later with Akhnaten. In between these came Satyagraha in 1980, which explores the early active life of Mahatma Gandhi. It focuses on political struggle as it...


Aida at the London Coliseum

Sam Smith

Set in Ancient Egypt, Giuseppe Verdi’s Aida of 1871 centres on a love triangle between Radamès, Amneris and Aida. As a Princess of Egypt and the daughter of the King, Amneris believes that her feelings for the Chief of the Guard Radamès ought to be reciprocated, and is horrified when she discovers that he and Aida, an Ethiopian slave, are actually in love. When Aida’s father Amonasros is captured in battle, with the Egyptians not realising that he is the King...