“Those who attend Philip Glass’s “Satyagraha” at the Metropolitan Opera would be well-advised to read the program notes beforehand and then allow themselves to simply surrender to its hypnotic visual and musical magic….
…it is the hypnotic music that submerges the listener into an understanding of the concept. Sinking into it, one feels viscerally how repetition adds power, and how the individual commitment of each participant adds up to a political movement. Indeed, the music, which sounds simple, is very difficult to perform because of its long stretches without markers or variation and demands unusual concentration from its performers. The Met’s forces were superbly up to the task. The orchestra of winds, strings and keyboards, expertly conducted by Dante Anzolini, expressed both stasis and relentless, onward flow. The excellent chorus supplied mass, texture and even menace: The opening of Act II, in which Gandhi is stalked by the citizens of Durban, features a men’s chorus (costumed in clown-like colors) repeating the syllables “ha-ha-ha” to terrifying effect.”
Wall Street Journal, Heidi Waleson, April 19, 2008