Philip Glass – one of the most sought-after American contemporary composers – presents his latest opera, The Perfect American, telling the story of a 20th-century character of huge cultural influence, Walt Disney. A world premiere at the Teatro Real de Madrid.
The Perfect American is a fictionalized biography of Walt Disney's final months. We discover Walt's delusions of immortality via cryogenic preservation, his tirades alongside his Abraham Lincoln talking robot, his utopian visions and his backyard labyrinth of toy trains.
Yet, if at first Walt seems to have a magic wand granting him all his wishes, we soon discover that he is as tortured as the man who crosses his story, Wilhelm Dantine, a cartoonist who worked for him, illustrating sequences for Sleeping Beauty. Dantine fascinated by the childlike omnipotence of a man who identifies with Mickey Mouse desperately seeks Disney's recognition at the risk of his own ruin.
Walt's wife Lillian, his confidante and perhaps his mistress Hazel, his brother Roy, his children Diane and Sharon, his close and ill-treated collaborators, and famous figures such as Andy Warhol, all contribute to the opera's animation, its feel for the life of the Disney world.
© Picture: Javier del Real
Jesús Lopez Cobos, Giancarlo del Monaco – Violeta Urmana (Santuzza), María Bayo (Nedda) – Teatro Real Madrid
Alberto Zedda, Pier Luigi Pizzi – Marco Vinco (Il Conte Asdrubale), Raúl Giménez (Il Cavalier Giocondo) – Teatro Real Madrid