Tao of Glass

Produced by Manchester International Festival, 
Improbable, and the Royal Exchange Theatre
Commissioned by Manchester International Festival, Improbable, Perth Festival, Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen and Carolina Performing Arts – University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

An exploration of life, loss and a single question: Where does true inspiration come from?

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 world premiere 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.

Read Phelim’s interview with Bachtrack about the project.

Tao of Glass’ world premiere will be part of the Manchester International Festival 2019 programme.


Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester – Thu 11 – Sat 20 July 2019 (tickets here)

Previews: Thu 11 – Sat 13 July 2019
Relaxed performance: Thu 18 July, 2.30pm
Captioned performance: Thu 18 July, 7.30pm
BSL-interpreted performance: Fri 19 July, 7.30pm
Audio-described performance: Sat 20 July, 2.30pm

May contain strong language

Creative Team
Philip Glass – Composer
Phelim McDermott – Writer & Co-Director
Kirsty Housley – Co-Director
Fly Davis – Designer
Colin Grenfell – Lighting Designer
Giles Thomas – Sound Designer
Ragnar Freidank – Collaborator
Chris Vatalaro – Musical Director
Jen Tan – Assistant Director
Lyndie Wright – Puppet Designer & Puppet Maker
Camille Etchart – Design Associate
Sorcha Steele – Sound Associate

David Emmings – Puppeteer
Janet Etuk – Puppeteer
Phelim McDermott – Performer
Jack McNeill – Ensemble (Clarinet)
Rakhi Singh – Ensemble (Violin)
Katherine Tinker – Ensemble (Piano)
Chris Vatalaro – Ensemble (Percussion)
Sarah Wright – Puppeteer & Puppet Co-ordinator

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