The Making of the Representative for Planet 8 (opera)

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The Making of the Representative for Planet 8
Opera by
Philip Glass 018.jpg
Glass in 2006
Librettist Doris Lessing
Based on Lessing's novel of the same name
Premiere July 8, 1988 (1988-07-08)
Houston Grand Opera

The Making of the Representative for Planet 8 is a full-scale opera by Philip Glass with a libretto by Doris Lessing based on her novel of the same name, first performed in 1988.

The opera was co-commissioned by English National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Het Muziektheater, Amsterdam, and Theater Kiel, and co-produced with Artpark, Lewiston, New York State.

Performance history[edit]

The opera was first performed at Houston Grand Opera on 8 July 1988.[1] The British premiere was 9 November 1988 by English National Opera at the London Coliseum.[2] This production was broadcast live in the UK on BBC Radio 3 on 13 December 1988. Due to a technical fault, scene four from act 3 was not broadcast.


Role Voice type Houston premiere, 8 July 1988
(Conductor: John DeMain)
London premiere, 9 November 1988
(Conductor: Michael Lloyd)[3]
Doeg Memory-maker and Storyteller baritone Harlan Foss Andrew Shore
Johor Canopean agent bass Timothy Breeze Richard Angas
Alsi a young woman soprano Louise Edeiken Lesley Garrett
Marl Keeper of the Herds baritone David Langan Simon Masterton-Smith
Bratch Guardian of Health mezzo-soprano Julia Parks Tamsin Dives
Pedug Teacher of the Young baritone Richard Sutliff John Kitchiner
Rivalin Custodian of the Lake mezzo-soprano Patricia Shockler Jady Pearl
Masson the Builder tenor Edgar Moore Peter Bamber
Klin Tender of Fruits and Plants soprano Edrie Means Gloria Crane
Nooni a young man tenor Jason Alexander Christopher Gillett


The people of Planet 8 are peaceful and content, until one of the Canopean Agents arrives and tells them to prepare for an impending ice age. The embattled population fights courageously in the face of certain death, and their efforts are transformed when they become the one single 'representative' of the planet's people and culture.


Unlike many of Philip Glass's other operas, The Making of the Representative for Planet 8 has not been recorded for CD sale.


  1. ^ Houston Grand Opera program notes
  2. ^ English National Opera programme notes. Henrietta Bredin (editor), Battley Brothers Printers, London.
  3. ^ "Planet 8: a total mismatch" by Andrew Clements, Opera, January 1989, p. 15

External links[edit]