Mary Zimmerman, Philip Glass Catch Next Wave at BAM Panel

News   Mary Zimmerman, Philip Glass Catch Next Wave at BAM Panel Playbill On-Line has joined forces with Camp Broadway and the Columbia Scholastic Press Association at Columbia University during the 2002-03 season to create opportunities for four high school student journalists, covering Broadway news for Playbill's teen readership. From September 2002 until May 2003, four students who were selected for the program will be responsible for writing an article every other month. One such article appears below:

Playbill On-Line has joined forces with Camp Broadway and the Columbia Scholastic Press Association at Columbia University during the 2002-03 season to create opportunities for four high school student journalists, covering Broadway news for Playbill's teen readership. From September 2002 until May 2003, four students who were selected for the program will be responsible for writing an article every other month. One such article appears below:

The 20th Next Wave Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music kicked off Oct. 1 with the new opera, Galileo Galilei. The production teams Tony-winning director Mary Zimmerman with composer Philip Glass and is based on the life of the world-renowned scientist. The two artists talked recently at a "BAMdialogue" panel preceding a performance to discuss the new venture.

Beginning at the end of Galileo's life, the opera tells his story in reverse chronological order, ending with Galileo as a boy, watching an opera composed by his father, Vincenzio Galilei.  "It's about a rather enormous world view" said Mary Zimmerman, describing the context of the opera.  "Galileo Galilei" highlights many of Galileo's most famous triumphs including his invention of the telescope and a demonstration of his experiments involving speed, acceleration, and motion. However, Mr. Glass insists, "Art is a species of poetry, it is not a history class."   

 Like most of the Next Wave Festival pieces, "Galileo Galilei" is presented in an experimental style.  "As Galileo decreases in age, he loses 40 pounds, shrinks an inch, and changes race, but that's the avant garde for you," Zimmerman commented. This marks the New York premiere of Galileo Galilei, which debuted this past summer at Chicago's Goodman Theatre. Designers for Galileo Galilei are Daniel Ostling (set), T.J. Gerckens (lighting), Mara Blumenfeld (costumes), Michael Bodeen (sound), and John Boesche (projections). The conductor is William Lumpkin.

The cast includes, John Duykers (Older Galileo), Andrew Funk (Simplicio), Mark Crayton (Cardinal 1), Gregory Purnhagen (Cardinal 2), Andrew McQuery (Cardinal 3), Alicia Berneche (Older Maria Celeste), Sarah Sheperd (Maria Madelena), Eugene Perry (Younger Galileo), Mary Wilson (Sagredo), Elizabeth Reiter (Young Maria Celeste), Lawrence Di Stasi, Tess Given, Mandi Michalski, Tim Mullaney, Matt Orlando, and Peter Sciscioli. BAMdiologues is a series of question and answer discussions with members of the creative team from many of the new works being presented at the Festival. The BAMdialogues series will include: Schaubuhne am Lehniner Platz Co-Artistic Director Jochen Sandig (November 13 at 6pm), Macbeth director Yukio Ninagawa (December 5 at 6pm), and Tan Dun (December 11 at 6pm).

Galileo was the first of 14 dance, music, theatre, and opera productions in the 20th Next Wave Festival. The festival began in 1983, and it strives to provide opportunities for already known artists, and, as of yet, unknown artists, to present new works.

In addition to the festival's mainstage performances at The Howard Gilman Opera House and The Harvey Theater, the BAMcafe, the BAM Rose Cinemas, and other BAM venues will be host to the NextNext series. Part of the New Wave Festival, NextNext will feature performances, art exhibits, and films by up-and-coming new artists, beginning November 8th and ending December 14th.

The Next Wave Festival runs from October 1st-December 22nd, 2002. For more information call BAM Ticket Services at 718-636-4100 or visit www.bam.org.

Zimmerman's The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci will play Second Stage in 2003.

—Jason Marcus
Playbill On-Line Stringer