Waiting for the Barbarians

barbarians.jpgScene from Waiting for the Barbarians (Photo: Theater Erfurt)

by Andrew Clements [The Guardian, 13 September 2005]

Philip Glass still has a long way to go to match the opera productivity of some of his 18th- and 19th-century predecessors – but, for a contemporary composer, he is doing very well indeed. Premiered in Erfurt, central Germany, Waiting for the Barbarians is Glass’s 21st opera. And if quality has not always gone hand in hand with that quantity, over the years he has developed a flexible and effective operatic style, one that can adapt to either narrative or non-narrative subject matter.