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World Premiere

In the Penal Colony

An opera by Philip Glass
libretto by Rudolph Wurlitzer
based on the story by Franz Kafka
directed by JoAnne Akalaitis
Co-produced with A Contemporary Theatre

Nov 01, 2000 — Dec 10, 2000

“Glass is a lightning-rod innovator” -The Seattle Times

“Ms. Akalaitis’ work grows increasingly distilled, profound and challenging” -New York Times

A visitor comes to witness an execution by a machine of capital punishment which he deems as antiquated and inhumane. But the colony’s presiding officer cannot imagine justice without this machine, his “work of a lifetime.” On the surface, Kafka wrote of capital punishment and justice, but as his tale unfolds we see a struggle between enlightenment and the conquering of the human spirit. Philip Glass’ haunting score for two opera singers and string quintet brings Kafka’s masterpiece to life. Mr. Glass, Ms. Akalaitis and a brilliant design team will create a rare and innovative piece of music, theatre and movement.

Artistic Team



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