medici.tv to Present World Premiere of Philip Glass' PERFECT AMERICAN, 2/6
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by BWW News Desk
On February 6, medici.tv will present a live webcast of the historic world premiere production of The Perfect American, Philip Glass's new opera about Walt Disney. At 75, Glass is one of the towering figures of 20th-century music, and perhaps the most successful composer alive today. The world premiere of his new opera will take place at Madrid's Teatro Real, which commissioned the piece.
The Perfect American is the first opera to take Walt Disney as its subject, as it imagines his final months. Following a novel of the same name by Peter Stephan Jungk, Glass depicts Disney as a complex, contradictory figure: a gifted European immigrant in pursuit of the American dream, whose youth was marred by misfortune and whose politics were jingoistic, but who remains central to American popular culture almost half a century after his death. The opera's recreation of his world is enriched by portrayals of Disney's wife, Lillian; his confidante (and perhaps mistress) Hazel George; his brother, Roy; his children, Diane and Sharon; his close but ill-treated collaborators; and famous figures such as Andy Warhol.
At the helm of the new production are music director Dennis Russell Davies, who has led almost all Glass's opera premieres to date, and stage director Phelim McDermott. English bass Christopher Purves stars as Walt Disney, alongside David Pittsinger as his brother, Roy; Marie McLaughlin as his wife, Lillian; Sarah Tynan as his Daughter Sharon; Janis Kelly as his confidante, Hazel; Nazan Fikret as Lucy; and John Easterlin as Andy Warhol.
The Perfect American will be broadcast live on February 6 at 2pm EDT and will be available for free replay for the next 90 days. More information is available at www.medici.tv/ - /the-perfect-american-philip-glass-teatro-real-world-premiere.
Through his operas, symphonies, compositions for his own ensemble, and collaborations with artists ranging from Twyla Tharp to Allen Ginsberg, and from Woody Allen to David Bowie, Philip Glass has had an extraordinary and unprecedented impact upon the musical and intellectual life of his times.
The operas - Einstein on the Beach, Satyagraha, Akhnaten, and The Voyage, among many others - play throughout the world's leading houses, and rarely to an empty seat. Glass has written music for experimental theater and for Academy Award-winning motion pictures such as The Hours and Martin Scorsese's Kundun, while Koyaanisqatsi, his initial filmic landscape with Godfrey Reggio and the Philip Glass Ensemble, may be the most radical and influential mating of sound and vision since Fantasia. His associations, personal and professional, with leading rock, pop and world music artists date back to the 1960s, including the beginning of his collaborative relationship with artist Robert Wilson. Indeed, Glass is the first composer to win a wide, multi-generational audience in the opera house, the concert hall, the dance world, in film and in popular music, simultaneously.
Since its official launch in May 2008, medici.tv has gained international recognition, bringing together a community of 120,000 music and arts lovers from 182 countries, who have watched over 20 million videos to date. In addition to offering live Concert Hall events that music lovers can experience on their computers and entertainment systems, medici.tv now offers a free application (available at the Apple App Store and for the Android) that makes it possible to experience world-class artistry on iPads, iPhones, and the Android.
In addition to webcasts of more than 100 live concerts each year, medici.tv has partnered with the world's top artists and music institutions to offer subscriptions that give music lovers the opportunity to watch more than 1,000 VOD (Video on Demand) programs. They include concerts, operas, recitals, documentaries, master classes, artist portraits, and archival material by such legendary musicians as Maria Callas, Glenn Gould, Yehudi Menuhin, David Oistrakh, Sviatoslav Richter, Mstislav Rostropovich, Arthur Rubinstein, Georg Solti, and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau.
Recently, medici.tv added reference opera productions to its library, including Don Carlo Starring Rolando Villazón at the Royal Opera House and The Fairy Queen at Glyndebourne conducted by William Christie; also new to the library is archival footage of conductor Leonard Bernstein, Herbert von Karajan and Vladimir Horowitz, alongside master classes by Alfred Brendel and James Conlon.