Philip Glass is a superstar of American music and the world’s most famous minimalist composer. His music is well known to film connoisseurs (The Illusionist, The Truman Show, Watchmen) and rock music fans (he worked with Mick Jagger and Aphex Twin; the composer also made an influence on Brian Eno's and David Bowie's style and later created symphonies based on their songs). Philip Glass has also composed almost three dozen operas. He introduced the influence of rock music to the opera, he made the opera great again and brought back its original spectacularity and dimension. Satyagraha in Ekaterinburg became the first opera by Philip Glass staged in Russia.
The Satyagraha text was originally written in Sanskrit, and the word itself means “insistence on truth” - this is how Mahatma Gandhi, the fighter for the independence of India, called his tactics of nonviolent resistance to the colonialists in the end of the 19th century. Satyagraha has no consistent plot, the traditional characteristic of operas; it develops as a series of impressions and symbolic episodes relating to Gandhi's personality. Each of the three acts is devoted to one prominent historical figure that embodied the idea of satyagraha. They are: Leo Tolstoy, Rabindranath Tagore and Martin Luther King Jr.
The director Thaddeus Strassberger unfolds the action in some hypothetical, almost fabulous space. He removes the division between the stage and the audience, surrounding the audience with the choir. His Satyagraha is a meditation, in the course of which the spectator is offered to forget about the daily troubles and familiar opera music concepts and follow the endlessly recurring musical figures. In the series of these repetitions the slightest rhythmic or harmonic shift becomes a significant event, and its three hours' duration it begins to feel like the world around us and the spectators have become a little different.