Commissioned by the Spoleto Music Festival USA, Charleston, SC and the American Music Theater Festival, Philadelphia, PA
Music-theatre piece by Philip Glass, Allen Ginsberg and Jerome Sirlin.
Libretto (English) by Allen Ginsberg.
Drawing upon Ginsberg's poetry, this music/theatre piece is a portrait of America that covers the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's, seen by the collaborators Glass, Ginsberg and Sirlin. Its content ranges form highly personal poems of Ginsberg to his reflection on social issues: the anti-war movement, the sexual revolution, drugs, eastern philosophy, environmental awareness. The six vocal parts represent six archetypal American characters - a waitress, a policeman, a businessman, a cheerleader, a priest, a mechanic.