The Making Of The Representative For Planet 8 (opera)

The Making Of The Representative For Planet 8 is a full-scale opera by Philip Glass with a libretto by Doris Lessing.

The opera was co-commisioned by English National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Het Muziektheater, Amsterdam and Theater Kiel, and co-produced with Artpark, Lewiston, New York State.

Performance history

The opera was first performed at Houston Grand Opera on July 8, 1988. The British premiere was November 9, 1988 by English National Opera at the London Coliseum. This production was broadcast live in the UK on Radio 3 on December 13, 1988. Unfortunately, due to a technical fault, scene four from Act III was not broadcast.


Role Voice type Premiere Cast, 8 July 1988
(Conductor: Michael Lloyd)
Doeg Memory-maker and Storyteller Andrew Shore
Johor Canopean agent Richard Angas
Klin Tender of Fruits and Plants Gillian Webster
Marl Keeper of the Herds Simon Masterton-Smith
Bratch Guardian of Health Tamsin Dives
Pedug Teacher of the Young John Kitchiner
Rivalin Custodian of the Lake Jady Pearl
Masson the Builder Peter Bamber
Alsi a young woman Lesley Garrett
Nooni a young man Christopher Gillett


The people of Planet 8 are peaceful and content, until one of the Canopean Agents arrives and tells them to prepare for an impending ice age. The embattled population fights courageously in the face of certain death, and their efforts are transformed when they become the one single 'representative' of the planet's people and culture.


Unlike many of Philip Glass's other operas, Planet 8 has not been recorded for CD sale.


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