Philip Glass to Occupy Lincoln Center During His Own Opera

Thursday, December 01, 2011 - 12:59 PM

Fountain at night in front of Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center Fountain and Avery Fisher Hall (johnnieutah/flickr)

Philip Glass says he will join Occupy Wall Street members on Thursday at 10:30 pm at Lincoln Center for what is described as a debate about “the effects of increased privatization and corporatization of all aspects of society." The minimalist composer's Satyagraha will be in progress at the Metropolitan Opera as the protesters converge on the plaza.

Last month, about two dozen Occupy Wall Street protesters staged a demonstration at Lincoln Center after a Juilliard Opera Theater performance of Kommilitonen! by Peter Maxwell Davies. Also in Novemberg, a group of anti-war demonstrators called the Granny Peace Brigade also held a vigil on Lincoln Center Plaza, which ended peacefully.

Tonight's planned event continues the movement's claim to the space, drawing an explicit connection to Glass's opera, which depicts Gandhi’s experiences in South Africa and takes its title from the Sanskrit word meaning "truth force."

Lincoln Center Plaza is owned by the City of New York, which it leases to Lincoln Center. The arts center confirmed that all performances will take place as scheduled Thursday, including the opera, which is to end approximately 45 minutes after the OWS meeting begins. Glass has not responded to a request for comment as of press time.

A statement by Occupy Wall Street noted "a striking irony that Bloomberg L.P. is one of the Lincoln Center’s leading corporate sponsors." Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered the clearing of the OWS encampment at Zuccotti Park on November 15, and his corporation donated between $250,000 and $499,999 to Lincoln Center toward their 2010-2011 season, according to the Lincoln Center Web site. In addition, the David H. Koch Theater is named after the head of Koch Industries, which funds several conservative causes.

Possibly inspired by Gandhi, members of Occupy Wall Street have threatened to begin a hunger strike should they not be allowed to protest on Lincoln Center Plaza.

UPDATE, Dec. 2, 11:30 am: Philip Glass did speak to the Occupy Wall Street demonstration at Lincoln Center Thursday night, after the police moved the protesters to the steps in front of the plaza. New Yorker music critic Alex Ross and James C. Taylor of the LA Times have reports on the scene.

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Comments [5]

Frank Feldman

Then yank your opera off the roster, Phillip Glass, you phony fake populist. As well as phony fake composer. Fake. Fake. Fake. Fake. F-fake. F-fake. F-fake. F-fake. F-f-fake. F-f-fake. F-f-fake. F-f-fake. F-f-fake., etc., ad nauseam...
Cynical publicity stunt by the master charlatan.

Dec. 06 2011 11:38 PM
Debbie Williams

Also David Beck, the protesters are not against classical music. They were attempting to engage more people, like you for instance, who do not comprehend the movement. It is a very narrow view to assume that all of the protesters don't like classical music. Unless, you are narrowly assuming that anyone who may be a part of the protests or support the movement do not have an appreciation for classical music. I hope its not the latter.

Dec. 03 2011 12:09 PM
Debbie Williams

"It is mind-boggling that Bloomberg still hypes the canard that the banks were forced to reap enormous profits from toxic securities. It is an embarrassing, dishonest position when the record of banker fraud in creating the housing bubble is so well documented in Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuits. Is Bloomberg unaware that the major banks have agreed to pay hefty fines in a meager compensation for their schemes? That he blames the victims of the securitization swindles and then orders the arrest of those who dare speak the truth is a tribute to his belief in the enduring power of the big lie." [Robert Scheer] Does this help your comprehension of it David Beck?

Dec. 03 2011 12:03 PM
Dirk from UWS

Good for them. Let's face it, Lincoln Center may put on some great programs sometimes but they're in bed with the Wall Street fat cats who helped to bring our economy down in 2008 and are still perpetuating the gross inequities in our country's class makeup.

If Lincoln Center doesn't care for these actions, maybe they should think about cutting ticket prices and making their halls less stuffy and elitist.

Dec. 01 2011 09:46 PM
David Beck from New York, NY

I cannot comprehend the supposed grievances of these protesters. Are they upset that Mayor Bloomberg prevented them from wasting even more of the city's resources on a relatively incoherent, bigotry-tolerating movement? And why do they feel compelled to introduce their politics to the one area of the arts that allows us to escape from these tiresome matters?

For heaven's sake, leave classical music alone.

Dec. 01 2011 04:24 PM

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