Satyagraha at London Coliseum tickets
Satyagraha at London Coliseum tickets

Satyagraha has closed

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Overview

Philip Glass’s iconic production of Satyagraha returns to the London Coliseum as part of ENO’s much anticipated 2017/18 season, which comprises revivals of some of the company’s most beloved past productions.

The opera is a grand, emotive meditation on the civil rights leader and spiritual guru Mahatma Gandhi. ‘Satyagraha’ is the name given to Ghandi’s self-conceptualised method of non-violent protest that took root in his teachings and followers throughout the long fought Indian Independence Movement.

Glass’s piece charts the leader’s early years in South Africa and moves back and forth through Gandhi’s life, with the flow of time, mixing words and sound in a beautiful maelstrom of emotion.

Artistic Director of theatre company Improbable, Phelim McDermott directs the production. McDermott made his ENO directorial debut with his now iconic premiere of Satyagraha in 2007 and returns for its third revival in under a decade.

Satyagraha will be McDermott’s second piece in this season, the first being Aida this autumn which follows sell-out performances of McDermott’s Olivier Award-winning production of Akhnaten in 2016. Contemporary music champion and former Music Director of the Staatsoper Hannover, Karen Kamensek reunites with McDermott for the production.

The title role Mahatma Gandhi will be played by British tenor Toby Spence along with an incredible ensemble, including Charlotte Beament, Anna-Clare Monk, Stephanie Marshall, Nicholas Folwell, Brindley Sherratt, Sarah Pring, Eddie Wade and Andrí Björn Róbertsson.

The productions mesmerising visual design is created with the help of Costume Designer Julian Crouch and Lighting Designer Kevin Pollard. The elegant video design is created and curated by Leo Warner and Mark Grimmer for 59 Productions Ltd.

Satyagraha is a stunning, multi-sensory opera that promises to enthral audiences once more. The production plays a limited run from the 1st to 27th February 2018.

Recommended for

Opera fans looking for something a bit different should ensure they catch this multi-sensory jewel.

Age Recommendations: No Children Under 5 years

Dates and times

Running time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Opened: 01 Feb 2018
Press night: 01 Feb 2018
Booking from: 27 Feb 2018
Booking until: 27 Feb 2018

Location and map

London Coliseum
St Martin's Lane
London, WC2N 4ES

7 Reviews Add review

I watched the start with anticipation - it's so long since I've been to the opera! Gorgeous score, I must say. We started with a f... More

u2fancat 5'6'', 42 reviews, 0 helpful votes

I watched the start with anticipation - it's so long since I've been to the opera! Gorgeous score, I must say. We started with a fellow in glasses and a suit - Gandhi, I guess - who sang away while reading a book. After a while, I realised there were captions on the back wall of the stage - in English! Ah here now, I was never told this - so basically, they eschewed the surtitles, which are designed for the purpose, in favour of projected captions (not describing the script verbatim, but giving the gist). Problem was - in the Balcony, we couldn't see them!! What a terrible production decision. We only ever got the bottom line or two. So, because I saw the name Krishna, and some mention of an epic battle, I concluded that we started with a battle involving Krishna. (Some very clever things were done with newspapers, I must say.) And I guessed that this was linked, symbolically, to Gandhi's decision to reject the Western world in favour of India. Then Tolstoy came into it. (?!) Turns out they were penpals - well, I never. Not that I found that out until I got home. The action moved to Tolstoy's farm..? Turns out (again, just looked it up now) that Gandhi implemented his theories on a "farm" that one of his associates called a "Tolstoy farm". Well, gee. So then, they took a vow.. of what, I don't know, because all I saw on the captions was "The Vow". And a set of coathangers descended from the ceiling, so they could hang their outer garments on them. (Some went back empty - does that mean that not everybody on stage was committed?) That's as much as happened up to the (first?) interval. Oh, and it happened very, very slowly. Really, you could go to sleep for five minutes during this and not miss a single thing. Indeed, they'd still be singing the same song. They even walked very, very slowly around the stage. Jeez, a fellow (Lord knows who) was climbing a set of three steps at one point - and the suspense as we wondered whether he'd ever get to the top! Dunno why he was doing it - he probably forgot on the way up, himself. Me, at the interval I figured I'd better leave before I started to get annoyed.

u2fancat 5'6'', 42 reviews, 0 helpful votes

Excellent staging, mostly very good singing and very good music as one would expect from a Glass opera (especially 2nd and 3rd act... More

markprunty 1 review, 0 helpful votes

Excellent staging, mostly very good singing and very good music as one would expect from a Glass opera (especially 2nd and 3rd acts). The sacred texts that are cast on to the back wall of the set repeatedly throughout the performance were very badly placed (especially 1st act) so that much of it was too truncated to understand at all from the Upper Circle (and I understand impossible throughout from seats in the Balcony). This lack of concern for the cheaper seats is unacceptable. It just appears very lazy as clearly creatives could create solutions if they were bothered. I did not notice any warning about this either.

markprunty 1 review, 0 helpful votes

Enjoyed but enjoyed Glass's Akhenaten more. I'd see it again though. Hypnotic and beautiful.

katsonstage 5'8", 123 reviews, 4 helpful votes

Enjoyed but enjoyed Glass's Akhenaten more. I'd see it again though. Hypnotic and beautiful.

katsonstage 5'8", 123 reviews, 4 helpful votes

dawnbsp 4ft 11, 236 reviews, 2 helpful votes

dawnbsp 4ft 11, 236 reviews, 2 helpful votes

Breathtaking. Costumes, music, set design - outstanding!

DPCoach 170cm, 1 review, 0 helpful votes

Breathtaking. Costumes, music, set design - outstanding!

DPCoach 170cm, 1 review, 0 helpful votes

You need staying power for this opera. Philip Glass's musical score was good. The song is in Sanskrit with no translation. Narrat... More

jeanettemartin 5' 3", 24 reviews, 0 helpful votes

You need staying power for this opera. Philip Glass's musical score was good. The song is in Sanskrit with no translation. Narrative projected on the backdrop can't be seen from Dress Circle L1. Innovative staging which lends itself to personal interpretation. The performance was 3hr 25mins including intervals. I could have done with it being 45mins to an hour shorter; it's very pedestrian in places.

jeanettemartin 5' 3", 24 reviews, 0 helpful votes

We couldn't read the lines. Even if I liked the composer the whole plot was too slow and with too many repeats. As I didn't get th... More

vangelismichael 1 review, 0 helpful votes

We couldn't read the lines. Even if I liked the composer the whole plot was too slow and with too many repeats. As I didn't get the story because I couldn't read what was written I was trying with closed eyes to feel the music.

vangelismichael 1 review, 0 helpful votes