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Philip Glass

Publisher: Chester Music

Galileo Galilei (2001)
commissioned by the Goodman Theatre for the 2001-2002 season.
Work Notes
Opera in twelve scenes. Libretto (English) by Mary Zimmermann with Philip Glass and Arnold Weinstein.
Text Writer
Mary Zimmerman
Dunvagen Music Publishers Inc
Opera and Music Theatre
Sub Category
Grand Opera
Year Composed
1 Hour 40 Minutes
2 Sopranos, Mezzo Soprano, Countertenor, Tenor, Bass Baritone, 3 Baritones
Programme Note
Philip Glass Galileo Galilei (2001)
Old Galileo - Tenor
Young Galileo - Baritone
Pope Urban VIII - Bass
Cardinal Barberini - Bass
Cardinal #1 - CounterTenor
Cardinal #2 - Baritone
Duchess Christina - Soprano
Marie Celeste - Soprano
Eos - Soprano
Sagredo - Soprano
Marie de' Medici - Soprano
Maria Magdelena - Mezzo Soprano
Scribe - Mezzo Soprano
Oracle #1 - CounterTenor
Oracle #2 - Baritone
Inquisitor #1 - CounterTenor
Inquisitor #2 - Baritone
Servant - Baritone
Salviati - Baritone
Priest - Baritone
Cardinal #3 - Bass-Baritone
Father - Bass
Simplico - Bass

Drawing from letters of Galileo and his family and various other documents, this opera retrospectively journeys through Galileo's life. Opening with him as an old, blind man after the trial and Inquisition for his heresy, it explores his religiosity as well as his break with the church, and expands into the greater, oscillating relationship of science to both religion and art, reaching its end with Galileo -as an infant- watching an opera composed by his father.

Combining two such visionary theatrical forces-Philip Glass and Mary Zimmerman-with the life story of one of our most visionary figures, astronomer Galileo Galilei, and one is almost guaranteed something explosive and beautiful. And the Goodman, in this world premier opera, scores on both accounts.
Windy City Times,01/07/2002
With the triumphant combination of Philip Glass' music and Mary Zimmerman's storytelling, this production soars in a celebration of the life of the famed 16th century scientist … An ingenious work of sumptuous beauty, grand music and stunning inspiration, this is a production that will leave you in heavenly reverie long after the curtain has dropped.
Daily Southtown,28/06/2002
Glass helped changed the face modern opera with "Einstein on the Beach," his 1976 collaboration with Robert Wilson. And Zimmerman's 1993 Goodman Studio production of "The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci" was a luminous exploration of the Renaissance-era genius who was both scientist and artist.
Chicago Sun Times,19/06/2002
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