The book of longing (Festival Theatre, 2008)

March 15, 2008

I am seeing this show March 15, although I am not reviewing this show. This one is an indulgence to celebrate Leonard Cohen. Here’s what the official guide says about the program:

A new work by Philip Glass based on the poetry and images of Leonard Cohen, co-commissioned by Adelaide Bank Festival of Arts.

A spectacular union of living legends as composer Philip Glass interprets the poetry of Leonard Cohen.

In 2006, Leonard Cohen concluded two decades of work, publishing his ruminative poetry and sketches in the Book of Longing. The result is a sweeping series of ballads, love poems, retrospectives and unexpectedly comic pieces, as well as some deeply spiritual meditations written during the eight years Cohen spent in a Buddhist monastery.

When Cohen read these works to his friend and mutual admirer, the enthusiastic response from Philip Glass was to suggest a collaboration that celebrated the poems musically. And so in this world premiere commissioned production, the Festival is privileged to welcome Glass as he presents these two remarkable concerts in spoken word, instrumental music and song, with an ensemble of eight musicians (including the composer himself) and four singers under the staging of acclaimed American choreographer Susan Marshall. Cohen also makes guest appearances via recorded spoken word selections of the work, and through his own visual artworks incorporated into the production.

Meditative, playful, erotic and provocative: Cohen’s words find their sonic syntax in Glass’s elegant and hypnotic score.

Festival Guide