In the Penal Colony is a one-act, three-character chamber opera, which Glass dubbed a “pocket opera” for its small cast and musical ensemble. In the Penal Colony is in English and plays out in 16 scenes and features a libretto by Rudy Wurlitzer.
The opera is based on the 1914 Franz Kafka short story: a pitch-black fable about crime and a very unusual punishment. In the Penal Colony tells the story of The Officer and The Visitor -- and an ominous machine designed to punish prisoners for their crimes. The opera debuted in 2000 at ACT Theater in San Francisco in a co-production with Chicago’s Court Theater. It premiered in New York City the following year and has subsequently had several productions in Europe and Australia, but hasn’t been seen in the U.S. for 14 years.
This isn't Boston Lyric Opera's first foray into Glass' operas, as they produced a highly popular version of his Akhnaten in 1999.
Tickets and additional information are available online.
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