Satyagraha (//; Sanskrit सत्याग्रह, satyāgraha "insistence on truth") is a 1979 opera in three acts for orchestra, chorus and soloists, composed by Philip Glass, with a libretto by Glass and Constance DeJong.
Glass's style can broadly be described as minimalist. The work is scored for 2 sopranos, 2 mezzo-sopranos, 2 tenors, a baritone, 2 basses, a large SATB chorus, and an orchestra of strings and woodwinds only, no brass or percussion. Principal roles are Miss Schlesen, Mahatma Gandhi, Hermann Kallenbach and Parsi Rustomji.
The title refers to Gandhi's concept of non-violent resistance to injustice, Satyagraha, and the text, from the Bhagavad Gita, is sung in the original Sanskrit. In performance, translation is usually provided in supertitles.
Satyagraha was commissioned by the city of Rotterdam, Netherlands, and first performed at the Schouwburg (Municipal Theatre) there on September 5, 1980, by the Netherlands Opera, featuring the choir of the Rotterdam Conservatory and the Utrecht Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Bruce Ferden.
The opera premiered in North America at the Artpark in Lewiston, New York, on July 29, 1981. It was also staged that same year by the Stuttgart Opera (which went on to perform the complete trilogy in 1990); this production was taped during its revival in 1983 and released on video.
In 2007 a new UK staging was prepared by the English National Opera and Improbable theatre, co-produced by the Metropolitan Opera in New York. This opened in London in April and in New York the following April. Well received, it was revived in London in February 2010 and in New York in November 2011; the New York performance on November 19 was part of the Met Opera: Live in HD series.
On September 16, 2014, a new production was staged at the Ekaterinburg State Academic Opera in Russia. The creative team included Thaddeus Strassberger (direction and scenic design), Mattie Ullrich (costume design) and Oliver von Dohnányi (conductor).
The opera is in three acts, each referencing a major related cultural figure.
- On the Kuru Field of Justice
- Tolstoy Farm (1910)
- The Vow (1906)
- Confrontation and Rescue (1896)
- Indian Opinion (1906)
- Protest (1908)
- Newcastle March (1913)
- S. Woods, D. Perry; Keene, New York City Opera orchestra and chorus. 1984 (Sony)
- Satyagraha, philipglass.com
- "Movies: About Philip Glass: Satyagraha". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-23.
- Phil Johnson, "Review: Opera Satyagraha Kingswood School, Bath", The Independent (London), 20 February 1997. Retrieved 23 August 2013
- "Philip Glass' Gandhi-Oper Satyagraha wieder auf dem Spielplan by Gunild Lohmann, General-Anzeiger, Bonn, 10 June 2013 (German)
- Finch, Hilary (7 April 2007). "Satyagraha". The Times. London. Retrieved 23 May 2010. (subscription required)
- Satyagraha[dead link]
- Satyagraha, English National Opera productions page[dead link]
- Satyagraha (1983 film) at the Internet Movie Database
- Satyagraha at PhilipGlass.com
- "The Truth Force at the Met", Daniel Mendelsohn's review of Satyagraha from The New York Review of Books
- Libretto at the Metropolitan Opera
- "В Екатеринбурге поставили «Сатьяграху»" (Ekaterinburg presents Satyagraha) by Gyulyara Sadiq-zade, Vedomosti, 18 September 2014 (Russian)