Oversimplifying Minimalism: Glass' Satyagraha

I don't think I've ever read an opera synopsis that contains: don't be "such a pussy."  Until now. And it's regarding Philip Glass' Satyagraha about Gandhi.  It's an effort by the Guardian to make the opera more accessible; it ends up opening a great debate about how to make something deep and meaningful accessible without reducing it to something that can fit between commercials of a prime time television show.

The million dollar question remains like a pink elephant: should some art works remain forever inaccessible, or should we translate it to a language that the American Idol crowd can handle?  I, for one, would rather not understand than be talked down to.  And yet, I think I think all audiences need help with some works, and all works need help for some audiences.  It's not a matter of principle but execution.  
This video, for instance, is clever but ultimately may attract an audience that will be disappointed that it's all sung in Italian.

Filed under: opera

Tags: opera

Leave a comment