Philip Glass | Texas Public Radio

Philip Glass

On November 8, singer Anthony Roth Costanzo will take center stage at the Metropolitan Opera, debuting as the star of a new production of Philip Glass' opera Akhnaten. It's a remarkable turn for a celebrated singer who nearly lost his voice to thyroid cancer.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

American composer Philip Glass turns 80 years old on January 31. To mark the occasion, we asked several of Glass' colleagues and collaborators to pick a piece of his music and write about it.

When the opera Appomattox premiered in 2007, it put on stage a piece of history that was more than 140 years old.

But creators Philip Glass and Christopher Hampton recently decided the story wasn't over.

When the Washington National Opera wanted to stage the opera, Glass said it needed a rewrite — to reflect what's happened in the U.S. since the premiere.

"In the last seven or eight years there have been profound and really horrific changes in the way this country understands itself," Glass says.

Courtesy photo

NOTE: I have never felt the need to preface a music review until now, but there's a first time for everything. Valentina Lisitsa has recently been criticized for what some have described as 'hate speech' in her Twitter feed. A native of Kiev, Lisitsa is vocal in her opinions about the conflict in Ukraine. Lisitsa's Tweets are often blunt and inelegant.

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