ENO Satyagraha Toby Spence ENO Chorus (c) Donald CooperPhoto Credit: Donald Cooper

Satyagraha, the second opera in Philip Glass’ Portrait Trilogy is about Gandhi’s time in South Africa and each act has a different famous figure l high above the action watching over Gandhi.

The good first, it’s a stunning production- exquisitely designed and directed it is a sumptuous feast for the eyes and the dancing and action is perfectly choreographed. The singing, particularly Charlotte Beament is very good too, Beament is just fantastic. The music is exciting, unique and different to any other opera that I’ve heard, the repetition and the odd number of notes makes it exciting.

The bad- no surtitles. To know what happens you have to buy and read the programme before hand and just go with it. The massive problem I have is accessibility. ENO’s raison d’être is accessibility, which is why the majority of their operas are in English (a mistake in my opinion costing them a lot of business as surtitles anyway) but for some reason no surtitles on an opera performed in Sanskrit.

If there were surtitles I might be raving about this instead of complaining about a decision which costs the viewer some crucial understanding which would add so much more enjoyment to the piece.


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