Commissioned to help celebrate the opening of a state-of-the-art opera house in Erfurt, Germany, "Barbarians" had its premiere in September 2005, where it was hailed as Glass' greatest opera in years. Pittsburgh Opera had intended to give the American premiere but backed off. New York City Opera and other American companies were on board, then off. The Iraq war made the opera a hot potato, but so did an elaborate production designed for Erfurt's high-tech house.
The good news is that "Barbarians" is the last opera Austin Lyric Opera will perform in Bass. A new opera house opens next year in South Austin.
TORTURED: [Richard Salter], center with chorus members, plays the Magistrate in an opera based on J.M. [Coetzee]'s novel.; PHOTOGRAPHER: Ken Howard; A VICTIM: Richard Salter and [Adriana Zabala] in Glass' "Waiting for the Barbarians."; PHOTOGRAPHER: Ken Howard