Philip Glass's Book of Longing
Donald Gordon Theatre
17 & 18 October, 7.30pm
Seats £7.50 - £35 (standing £5) plus concessions.
1st Night SuperSeats £45 | Groups: 10+ Save 10%
FREE Pre Show Talk with Philip Glass, 18 October, 6.30pm -7pm
Philip Glass, “the most powerful composer of our time” (The Daily Telegraph) is an icon of the music world, and Wales Millennium Centre are proud to be hosting the European premier of his new work, Book of Longing, a collaboration that features the words of another icon; world-renowned poet, song-writer and performer Leonard Cohen.
For years Cohen and Glass have wanted to collaborate with each other, bound by a mutual appreciation of each other’s work. With the release of Cohen’s new collection of poetry and hand-drawn sketches Book of Longing, that dream was finally able to be realised. Taking the lyricist’s masterful words, pulled from the poetry and writings found in his collection, Glass wrote new music for the pieces, contextualising them to the stage, and turning them into a new production - also entitled Book of Longing.
Book of Longing is performed by the Philip Glass Ensemble, a seven-piece group of musicians drawn from the worlds of indie rock, classical and new music that features Glass himself on keyboards. Performing alongside them are four singers, who will sing the Cohen-written lyrical components to Glass’ music, alongside a pre-recorded vocal by Leonard Cohen himself. And these performances will be accompanied by imagery from Cohen’s book, hand-drawn artwork created to accompany his vibrant words.
Individually, Glass’ and Cohen’s catalogues speak volumes about their talents, with Glass’ career spanning Academy Award nominated soundtracks such as The Hours and Notes On A Scandal, collaborations with artists such as Paul Simon and David Byrne, and hundreds of classical compositions that range from Operas to solo piano pieces, whilst Cohen’s catalogue of songs features such multi-million selling hits as Bird On The Wire, I’m Your Man and First We Take Manhattan..
Glass said has said that the experience of working with Cohen’s words was "intensely beautiful, personal and inspiring. For me, this is both a departure from my past work and a fulfilment of an artistic dream." And that fulfilment has helped create Book of Longing, a work that is vibrant, powerful, introspective and passionate in equal measure, and one of the highlights of the catalogues of two of the world’s most uncompromising and celebrated musical visionaries.
Check back soon for an exclusive review of the show by WMC’s chief executive Ju