Tao of Glass

4./5./6./3. May 2020

Tao of Glass

by Philip Glass and Phelim McDermott

Composer Philip Glass and performer-director Phelim McDermott have worked together on acclaimed opera productions in London, New York and beyond, and “Tao of Glass” is their most personal collaboration yet.

Inspired by a dream, this production marries ten meditations on life, death, and Taoist wisdom with ten brand new pieces of music from Glass, presented by McDermott with an ensemble of musicians and puppeteers. Part-concert, part-performance, Tao of Glass is a storytelling tapestry, soundtracked by Glass’s mesmerising music and shot through with Improbable’s trademark theatricality. It is a vivid exploration of life, loss and a single question:
Where does true inspiration come from?

Tao of Glass 16 Foto Tristram Kenton

Commissioned by Manchester International Festival, Improbable, Perth Festival, Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen, Hong Kong New Vision Arts Festival and Carolina Performing Arts – University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in association with Naomi Milgrom AO. Produced by Manchester International Festival and Improbable.

The performance on 3 May is part of the Ruhrfestspiele opening festivities. Tickets can only be booked in combination with Clemens Meyer’s opening speech.




In English with German subtitles


Philip Glass

Co-direction and text:

Phelim McDermott


Kirsty Housley


Fly Davis


Colin Grenfell

Sound Design:

Giles Thomas


Ragnar Freidank

Musical direction:

Chris Vatalaro

Puppet Design and Puppet Maker:

Lyndie Wright


David Emmings, Janet Etuk, Rachel Leonard, Phelim McDermott, Jack McNeill, Katherine Tinker, Chris Vatalaro


02 hours 30 minutes


From €27