Gerard Mortier, General Manager Designate announced in a recent press statement that the work - titled The Perfect American and aimed for the 2012-2013 season - is based upon Peter Stephan Jungk's novel Der K‹nig von Amerika and will imaginatively explore the life and career of Disney.
Glass said in a statement, "The story of the last days of Walt Disney, American Icon and creator of perhaps the most pervasive fantasy world on our planet, is surprisingly gripping and at times disturbing. But, on the face of it, how could it be anything else? The pulse of his life has to be the pulse of our own American culture. And, like other aspects of life here, it is unimaginable, alarming, and truly frightening. I am looking forward to beginning these collaborations with Gerard Mortier at the New York City Opera."
The production will reunite Glass with the London theatre troupe Improbable. The group recently collaborated with Glass on his Satygraha at the English National Opera and the Met. Members Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch were co-creators of the West End and off-Broadway hit Shockheaded Peter.
The world premiere of this work, the 24th opera by Philip Glass, will honor the 75th birthday of the distinguished composer, whose association with City Opera dates back to the 1980s, when the company presented the New York premiere of his Akhnaten and recorded his Satyagraha.
Mr. Mortier has also scheduled a Philip Glass work for his inaugural 2009-2010 season when City Opera will present the landmark opera Einstein on the Beach. This will be the first staged production of the work in New York since 1992, reuniting director and co-creator Robert Wilson with the Philip Glass Ensemble and the Lucinda Childs Dance Company. Einstein on the Beach will be City Opera's first production in the newly refurbished New York State Theater, to be re-named the David H. Koch Theater.