• Philip Glass
  • In the Penal Colony (2000)

  • Dunvagen Music Publishers Inc (World)

Commissioned by A Contemporary Theatre (ACT) in Seattle, Washington

Libretto (English) by Rudolph Wurlitzer based on the original story by Franz Kafka

  • str
  • vln(1&2).vla.vc.db
  • Tenor, Baritone, 2 Actors
  • 1 hr 20 min
  • Rudolph Wurlitzer
  • English
    • 19th April 2024, Lichthof des Justitzpalastes, Munich, Germany
    • 5th May 2024, Lichthof des Justitzpalastes, Munich, Germany
    View all

Programme Note

Commander of the colony - baritone, alt. bass
Visitor - tenor
Prisoner - speaking
Guard - speaking

Kafka is one of the seminal minds of modernists writing and has proven to be a steadily appealing author for modern audiences. "In the Penal Colony," which was commissioned by A Contemporary Theatre in Seattle and premiered September 31, 2000 is based on Kafka’s short story of the same title. The story describes an execution planned for one of the prisoners of the "colony" for which and up until then, an execution machine has been routinely used. The material itself is allegorical, and though at first the story appears to address the question of capital punishment, in fact Kafka uses it as a platform to explore, extensively and poetically, issues of humanism, idealism, and transfiguration. The two protagonists - the commander of the colony and the visitor – are written for a baritone and a tenor or bass and tenor respectively. In addition, there are 2 speaking roles- a prisoner and a guard. A string ensemble accompanies the performers.


FS Tenor & Baritone