The Making-Of about one of my favorite contemporary operas …
This documentary „A Composer’s Notes: Philip Glass and the Making of an Opera“ contains a look behind the scene with exceptional and rare footage. It also contains excerpts and impressions of Achim Freyer. If you don’t know the opera „Akhnaten“ put on some good headphones and listen to it (iTunes or Spotify).
Watch the full documentary on Vimeo (paid).
Philip Glass (born January 31, 1937) is an American composer and pianist. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential composers of the late 20th century. Glass's work has been associated with minimalism, being built up from repetitive phrases and shifting layers. Glass describes himself as a composer of "music with repetitive structures", which he has helped evolve stylistically.Glass founded the Philip Glass Ensemble, with which he still performs on keyboards. He has written numerous operas and musical theatre works, twelve symphonies, eleven concertos, eight string quartets and various other chamber music, and film scores. Three of his film scores have been nominated for Academy Awards.
Definition from Wikipedia – Philip Glass
Achim Freyer (born 30 March 1934) is a German stage director, set designer and painter. A protégé of Bertolt Brecht, Freyer has become one of the world's leading opera directors, working throughout Europe and, since 2002, in the United States, principally with the Los Angeles Opera. Since 1992, Freyer has developed a number of productions featuring his own troupe of performers, known as the Freyer Ensemble.
Freyer staged a controversial production of Wagner's Ring Cycle in Los Angeles in 2010, praised by many critics but criticised by some of its own stars.
Definition from Wikipedia – Achim Freyer
Akhnaten is an opera in three acts based on the life and religious convictions of the Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten (Amenhotep IV), written by the American composer Philip Glass in 1983. The libretto is by Philip Glass in association with Shalom Goldman, Robert Israel, Richard Riddell and Jerome Robbins. According to the composer, this work is the culmination of his two other biographical operas, Einstein on the Beach (about Albert Einstein) and Satyagraha (about Mahatma Gandhi). These three people – Akhenaten, Einstein and Gandhi – were all driven by an inner vision which altered the age in which they lived, in particular Akhenaten in religion, Einstein in science, and Gandhi in politics.
The text, taken from original sources, is sung in the original languages, linked together with the commentary of a narrator in a modern language, such as English or German. Egyptian texts of the period are taken from a poem of Akhenaten himself, from the Book of the Dead, and from extracts of decrees and letters from the Amarna Period, the seventeen-year period of Akhenaten's rule. Other portions are in Akkadian and Biblical Hebrew. Akhnaten's Hymn to the Sun is sung in the language of the audience....
Definition from Wikipedia – Akhnaten (opera)