Today, a new version of Appomattox, the opera by Philip Glass, with a libretto by Christopher Hampton, will be performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington (DC), by the Washington National Opera. The first version of the opera was premiered in San Francisco on October 5, 2007.
The opera explores the struggle to end racial inequality in America at two key crossroads a century apart: General Ulysses S. Grant's dramatic war-ending deliberations with General Robert E. Lee at a Virginia courthouse - and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s passionate debates with President Lyndon B. Johnson as civil rights protesters rallied in Alabama. (reproduced from the Kennedy Center website).The cast includes baritone Tom Fox (Abraham Lincoln / Lyndon B. Johnson), bass Soloman Howard (Frederick Douglass / Martin Luther King Jr.), bass baritone David Pittsinger (Robert E. Lee / Edgar Ray Killen), baritone Richard Paul Fink (Ulysses S. Grant / Nicholas Katzenbach), tenor Robert Brubaker (Wilmer McLean / J. Edgar Hoover). Dante Anzolini conducts the Chorus and Orchestra of the Washington National Opera. Tazewell Thompson directs.
The two parts should last 80 minutes each. This world premiere commemorates 50 years since the Voting Rights Act and 150 years since the end of the Civil War.