The Perfect American (English National Opera)

Reviewed by
ABR Arts 24 June 2013

The Perfect American (English National Opera)

Reviewed by
ABR Arts 24 June 2013

English National Opera audiences are notable for their complete lack of bling. On opening nights they ostentatiously dress down, in opposition to their social butterfly Covent Garden counterparts, as if to state that they are there for the opera alone. The London opening of The Perfect American, Philip Glass’s opera based on the life of Walt Disney, was no exception. At openings of Wagner’s Ring, one can see horned, helmeted, and even fully costumed figures in the audience. I was rather hoping that, on this occasion, Mickey or Donald might have put in an appearance, but it was not to be. If there were no iconic Disney characters off stage, there was no chance that any would make it onstage. The Perfect American is based on a novel of the same name by the American–German author Peter Stephan Jungk, in which Uncle Walt is portrayed as a grumpy, racist adulterer. The Disney Corporation resolutely refused to allow any of the hallowed figures stage time. Whether their appearance could have saved this turgid mess is a very moot point.

From the New Issue

Leave a comment

If you are an ABR subscriber, you will need to sign in to post a comment.

If you have forgotten your sign in details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to ABR Comments. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.