Tao of Glass
Philip Glass & Phelim McDermott
Thu 11 July, 2019
Sat 20 July, 2019
- About the show
- Creative team
An exploration of life, loss and a single question:
Where does true inspiration come from?
Composer Philip Glass and performer-director Phelim McDermott (Improbable) have worked together on acclaimed opera productions in London, New York and beyond, and Tao of Glass is their most personal collaboration yet. Inspired by a dream, this world premiere marries ten meditations on life, death and Taoist wisdom with ten brand new pieces of music from Glass, presented by McDermott with an ensemble of musicians and puppeteers. Part-concert, part-performance, Tao of Glass is a storytelling tapestry, soundtracked by Glass’s mesmerising music and shot through with Improbable’s trademark theatricality.
Commissioned by Manchester International Festival, Improbable, Perth Festival, Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen and Carolina Performing Arts – University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in association with Naomi Milgrom AO. Produced by Manchester International Festival, Improbable and the Royal Exchange Theatre.
Photo: Tristram Kenton
Every so often your eyes will fill with tears, for there is only so much that the human heart can hold within it.
an exploration of the mystery of artistic creation that’s marvellously entertaining and deeply touching
This was a mesmerising, unique and utterly compelling premiere, and must be seen as one of the Manchester International Festival’s greatest achievements.
Brilliant, fascinating and enchanting
The Arts Desk
It is exactly the kind of work MIF should be commissioning: big names writing about big ideas, producing work which is challenging but ultimately, universal.
Manchester Evening News
Philip Glass – Composer
Phelim McDermott – Writer & Co-Director
Kirsty Housley – Co-Director
Fly Davis – Designer
Colin Grenfell – Lighting Designer
Giles Thomas – Sound Designer
Ragnar Freidank – Collaborator
Chris Vatalaro – Musical Director
Jen Tan – Assistant Director
Lyndie Wright – Puppet Designer & Puppet Maker
Camille Etchart – Design Associate
Sorcha Steele – Sound Associate
David Emmings – Puppeteer
Janet Etuk – Puppeteer
Phelim McDermott – Performer
Jack McNeill – Ensemble (Clarinet)
Rakhi Singh – Ensemble (Violin)
Katherine Tinker – Ensemble (Piano)
Chris Vatalaro – Ensemble (Percussion)
Sarah Wright – Puppeteer & Puppet Co-ordinator
Listening time: 34 minutes
What would you ask your hero?
Phelim McDermott, director and co-founder of Improbable, is making a stage show with Philip Glass – his long-term hero and creative inspiration. After years of following Glass from afar Phelim now has the chance to meet him, and to ask whatever he wants. The only problem is that Phelim has no idea what to ask.
In search of the perfect question, Phelim explores his dreams, dredges up memories and speaks to those who know him best, going to the very core of where ideas come from.
Including contributions from Matilda McDermott, Riddley McDermott and co-director Kirsty Housley.
Music by Philip Glass and Vicky Clarke.
Hosted by Isaiah Hull. Produced by Eliza Lomas. A Reduced Listening and Manchester International Festival production.