Glass' 'The Perfect American' to open in Madrid

AP News
Posted: Feb 10, 2012 12:11 PM
Glass' 'The Perfect American' to open in Madrid

Philip Glass' "The Perfect American," imagining the final months of the life of Walt Disney, will have its world premiere at Madrid's Teatro Real on Jan. 22, 2013.

The opera was originally commissioned by New York City Opera when Gerard Mortier was to become general manager.

Mortier, who took over as the Teatro Real's artistic director in 2010, announced the company's 2012-13 season on Tuesday. The opera, commissioned in honor of the composer's 75th birthday Jan. 31, is based on the novel by Peter Stephan Jungk.

The cast includes Christopher Purves (Walt Disney), David Pittsinger (Roy), Janis Kelly (Hazel George), Marie McLaughlin (Lillian Disney), Sarah Tynan (Sharon), Nazan Friket (Lucy) and John Easterlin (Andy Warhol). Dennis Russel Davies conducts and Phelim McDermott directs in a co-production with the English National Opera. There will be seven performances in Madrid through Feb. 6.

New York City Opera announced the commission in September 2008, saying it was to open its 2012-13 season. Mortier quit before he officially started, saying he wasn't given a sufficient budget. The company left Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts last summer because of huge losses, and its 2011-12 season, which starts this weekend at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, is limited to 16 performances of four operas.

Another City Opera project, Michael Haneke's production of Mozart's "Cosi fan tutte," opens at the Teatro Real on Feb. 23, 2013. Haneke won the grand prize at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival for "The Piano Teacher."

Conducted by Sylvain Cambreling and with sets by Christoph Kanter, "Cosi" has a cast that includes Annett Fritsch (Fiordiligi), Kerstin Avemo (Despina), Juan Francisco Gatell (Fernando), Andreas Wolf (Giuglielmo) and William Shimmel (Don Alfonso).

Charles Wuorinen's "Brokeback Mountain," based on the 1997 short story by Annie Proulx that became the basis for an Academy Award-winning movie, is to premiere at the Teatro Real in January 2014. It also originally was commissioned by Mortier for City Opera.