Virtual Opera: CIRCUS DAYS AND NIGHTS (World Premiere by Philip Glass, David Henry Hwang & Tilde Björfors; Streaming LIVE)

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by Tony Frankel on May 26, 2021

in Music,Theater-International


It’s here! The world premiere of a new opera by Philip Glass which will take place on Malmö Opera‘s main stage with live music to a live audience and livestreamed worldwide May 29 thru June 13, 2021. Librettists David Henry Hwang and circus director Tilde Björfors are also on board for this innovative and highly-accessible fusion of circus and opera, based on a collection of poems by American poet Robert Lax.

Philip Glass and Tilde Björfors. Photo by Mats Bäcker.

Glass is easily the one of the most exciting and magical contemporary composers, creator of my favorite contemporary operas Einstein on the Beach (see Stage and Cinema’s review), Akhnaten, and Satyagraha.

This team of world-class creatives, with Swedish contemporary circus company Cirkus Cirkör and Malmö Opera, are faithful to Lax’s poetry, transcendental vision and spiritual world view. the 150-minute opera will take audiences on a spectacular adventure into the world of the circus and the performers who dedicate their lives to this art. What they captures is a day in their lives as a spiritual ceremony which honors the cycle of life and death. Lax’s circus writings, which explore a fascination with the travelling circus in 1940s America, have long inspired Glass and director Björfors, who is renowned for incorporating circus acts into traditional theatre.

Glass said, “I have had the rights to the poem for about ten years, but I couldn’t write the piece because I hadn’t found my circus. When I saw Tilde’s staging of Satyagraha it struck me: Here’s my circus”

The cast includes both internationally renowned circus artists and opera singers, including Elin Rombo — Rufus Wainright’s favorite soprano, court-singer and an international star, who said, “It’s such an exhilarating feeling, reminiscent of going to the circus as a child and hoping that the circus director would choose me as a volunteer.”

See fascinating insights from the creators here on YouTube.

photos by Karolina Henke

in English, with English and Swedish subtitles
for tickets (100 Swedish Krona, about $12USD), visit Malmo Opera

so 7pm in Sweden is 1pmET, 10amPT, etc.
Sat, May 29th 2021 6:00pm
Tue, June 1st 2021 7:00pm
Thu, June 3rd 2021 7:00pm
Fri, June 4th 2021 7:00pm
Sat, June 5th 2021 6:00pm
Tue, June 8th 2021 7:00pm
Wed, June 9th 2021 7:00pm
Fri, June 11th 2021 7:00pm
Sat, June 12th 2021 6:00pm
Sun, June 13th 2021 4:00pm

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