I saw the trailer above after seeing the opera – or at least the bits of the opera where I wasn’t outside in the foyer throwing espresso down my neck – and it came as a relief to know that I wasn’t supposed to understand it. This is not my first Phillip Glass opera – Husband and I went to see Satyagraha a couple of years ago as well – so I was up for the hypnotic arpeggios and the libretto that no one understands and the rest of it.
Within 10 minutes of the start the stage holds a boy on a gantry, alternately throwing paper aeroplanes or holding a glowing cube, a woman walking back and forth while throwing shapes with her arms, a man marked as special because he wears a red shirt (everyone else in the cast wears black, grey or white for the rest of the performance)who might be miming something at a blackboard or might not and a large, spotlit conch shell. My mind was scrambling for purchase: perhaps lady with the arms is the sea? And perhaps RedShirt is Einstein, and he’s remembering how as a boy he used to make paper planes and hold cubes, as we all do at the seaside?