The Making of the Representative for Planet 8 (opera)

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The Making of the Representative for Planet 8 is a full-scale opera by Philip Glass with a libretto by Doris Lessing, first performed in 1988.

The opera was co-commissioned by English National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Het Muziektheater, Amsterdam and Theater Kiel, and co-produced with Artpark, Lewiston, New York State.

Performance history[edit]

The opera was first performed at Houston Grand Opera on 8 July 1988.[1] The British premiere was 9 November 1988 by English National Opera at the London Coliseum.[2] This production was broadcast live in the UK on Radio 3 on 13 December 1988. Due to a technical fault, scene four from Act III was not broadcast.


Role Voice type Premiere Cast, 8 July 1988
(Conductor: John DeMain)
Doeg Memory-maker and Storyteller Baritone Harlan Foss
Johor Canopean agent Bass Timothy Breeze
Alsi a young woman Soprano Louise Edeiken
Marl Keeper of the Herds Baritone David Langan
Bratch Guardian of Health Mezzo-soprano Julia Parks
Pedug Teacher of the Young Baritone RIchard Sutliff
Rivalin Custodian of the Lake Mezzo-soprano Patricia Shockler
Masson the Builder Tenor Edgar Moore
Klin Tender of Fruits and Plants Soprano Edrie Means
Nooni a young man Tenor Jason Alexander


The people of Planet 8 are peaceful and content, until one of the Canopean Agents arrives and tells them to prepare for an impending ice age. The embattled population fights courageously in the face of certain death, and their efforts are transformed when they become the one single 'representative' of the planet's people and culture.


Unlike many of Philip Glass's other operas, The Making of the Representative for Planet 8 has not been recorded for CD sale.


  1. ^ Houston Grand Opera program notes
  2. ^ English National Opera programme notes. Henrietta Bredin (editor), Battley Brothers Printers, London.

External links[edit]