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CLASSICAL  September 2007

CLASSICAL September 2007

Subject:

"Appomattox" Cometh

From:

Janos Gereben <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Moderated Classical Music List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 23 Sep 2007 14:40:58 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (62 lines)

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/09/23/PK35S3KNF.DTL

   Philip Glass' 'Appomattox' to have world premiere in San Francisco

   By Jesse Hamlin
   San Francisco Chronicle
   Sept. 23, 2007

   Philip Glass was a young boy in Baltimore when all the men in
   the family went off to serve in World War II. "My memory of the
   war is the women, the sorrow of women, the anxiety of women,"
   says the celebrated composer, whose new opera, "Appomattox,"
   delves into the final days of the bloody Civil War and the nature
   of the two opposing generals who crafted the surrender that ended
   the slaughter. Glass bookends the piece with a prologue and
   epilogue sung solely by women, among them the wives of Robert
   E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant and Abraham Lincoln, and former slave
   Elizabeth Keckley, Mary Todd Lincoln's psychic seamstress.

   Commissioned by the San Francisco Opera, where it premieres Oct.
   5, "Appomattox" centers on the historic meeting of Grant and Lee
   on April 9, 1865, in Wilbur McLean's brick home in the Virginia
   town of Appomattox Court House. But it also spirals into the
   future. In Act 2, the main action is intercut with scenes of
   racial strife from the Reconstruction and civil rights eras,
   which Glass and librettist Christopher Hampton see as the fallout
   from the nation-rending conflict that killed more than 600,000
   people.

   "The Civil War is the biggest story we have. It's our story,
   America's story," Glass says. Grant and Lee spoke of reconciliation,
   "but what they were hoping for didn't happen. The civil rights
   movement grew out of the Civil War, there's no question about
   it. The war never really ended."

   An energetic man with blue eyes and tousled brown hair, he's
   sitting on a couch at the Opera House in a green shirt and black
   trousers, answering questions and asking a few. He riffs for an
   hour on his new work and the far-ranging projects and collaborators
   - Allen Ginsberg, Twyla Tharp, Paul Simon, Yo-Yo Ma, Ravi Shankar,
   West African musician Foday Musa Suso and others - that have
   kept his fires burning for decades.

   Glass's 70th birthday is being celebrated in the Bay Area with
   a string of performances and events honoring the prolific composer,
   whose catalog includes more than 20 operas, among them the
   landmark 1976 "Einstein on the Beach," a poetic abstraction
   created with director-designer Robert Wilson, and the stirring
   1980 work about Gandhi's nonviolent struggle, "Satyagraha." He's
   written symphonies, concertos, string quartets and dozens of
   film scores, from Errol Morris documentaries to features like
   "The Hours" and "Notes on a Scandal." ...

Janos Gereben
www.sfcv.org
[log in to unmask]

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