Teatro Real

Picture: The Perfect American, Philip Glass's latest opera, at the Teatro Real Madrid – Broadcast live on medici.tv on February 6 – © Javier del Real

In the Press

El País. By Daniel Verdú

[...] El veredicto? Un éxito que, sin rango de apoteosis, llegó en forma de ovaciones, bravos y un reconocimiento casí general a la labor de Glass, recibido con un largo applauso cuando salió al escenario para saludar al público. Todo un acontecimiento, en suma, y la primera vez que el teatro levanta el telón de una nueva partitura y producción internacional [...]

Los Angeles Times, January 24. By Mark Swed

[...] By most counts this is Glass' 24th opera, and it is his most personally intimate. It does what opera does best by making the larger-than-life creator of Mickey Mouse an imperfect life-size, ultimately earning our wonderment. [...]

Glass' repetitive style is recognizable throughout, but with this opera he shows more harmonic richness than ever, which seems just right for every situation, mood or thought.

The production by British director Phelim McDermott, who was responsible for the Metropolitan Opera's impressive production of Glass' Gandhi opera, "Satyagraha," five years ago, celebrates Disney's drawings with projections on moving screens. A group of funky animators seems to operate all that goes on on stage. The characters are wild yet believable, even and especially the animatronic Lincoln.

Baritone Christopher Purves has captured in Disney the charisma, arrogance and humanity of the man, and it's already a candidate for one of the most important opera performances of the year. He makes racist or anti-Semitic remarks sound not like tirades but like attitudes that were all too common at the time, especially around Los Angeles. One of the points of "The Perfect American" is to show us how much times have changed.

The rest of the mostly excellent large cast includes David Pittsinger as Roy Disney, Donald Kaasch as Dantine, Janis Kelly as Disney's nurse Hazel George, Marie McLaughlin as his wife, Lillian, and John Easterlin as Warhol. Rosie Lomas made a strong impression in the high-lying parts of the owl-girl Lucy and Josh, the boy in the hospital. And Zachary James had a touch of Daniel Day-Lewis in his Lincoln.

Dennis Russell Davies, who has led the premieres of most of Glass' operas and symphonies, once more made sure of tone and detail. [...]