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The Trial is an English-language opera in two acts, with music by Philip Glass to a libretto by Christopher Hampton, based on the eponymous novel by Franz Kafka. The opera was a joint commission between Music Theatre Wales, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Theater Magdeburg and Scottish Opera.
As produced by Music Theatre Wales, the opera received its world premiere on 10 October 2014, in a production by Music Theatre Wales at the Linbury Studio Theatre, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (London). The German premiere at the Theater Magdeburg occurred on 2 April 2015. Scottish Opera first staged the work at the Theatre Royal Glasgow on 24 January 2017. The North American premiere was on 4 June 2017 at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. For all of these stagings, Michael McCarthy was the stage director, and the set design was by Simon Banham, both from Music Theatre Wales.
This work, Glass' 26th opera, is the third opera collaboration between Glass and Hampton. Hampton has acknowledged that the initial idea for an opera based on The Trial originated with Glass. Glass has described the opera as one of his 'pocket operas', with respect to the size of the instrumental ensemble and the number of singers required, with all of the singers, except the baritone in the role of Josef K., performing multiple roles.
Glass dedicated the score to Music Theatre Wales in commemoration of its 25th anniversary. He had approved of the company's earlier stagings of his operas, and offered them a reduction in his standard commission fee to reduce the financial burden on the organisation for this commission and production.
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- When I, Good Friends, Was Called To The Bar
- Oh, Joy Unbounded
- Climbing Over Rocky Mountain
- Three Little Maids From School Are We
- Is Life A Boon?
- A Wandering Minstrel I
- When I Was A Lad
- On A Tree By A River, A Little Tom-tit Sang, 'Willow, Tit-willow'
- For He's Gone And Married Yum-Yum
- We Sail The Ocean Blue
- My Gallant Crew
- Ah, Leave Me Not To Pine
- When The Foeman Bares His Steel
- Poor Wand'ring One
- I Am The Very Model Of A Modern Major-General
- Were I Thy Bride
- Never Mind The Why And Wherefore
- Behold The Lord High Executioner!
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- The Flowers That Bloom In The Spring
- I Have A Song To Sing, O!
- When A Wooer Goes A-Wooing
- Oh, A Private Buffoon Is A Light-Hearted Loon
- Braid The Raven Hair
- Things Are Seldom What They Seem