Tao of Glass

Produced by Improbable, Manchester International Festival 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.

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

Show created and performed by:

Composer – Philip Glass
Writer, Performer & Co-Director – Phelim McDermott
Co-Director – Kirsty Housley
Designer – Fly Davis
Lighting Designer – Colin Grenfell
Sound Designer – Giles Thomas
Documentary Maker & Collaborator – Ragnar Freidank

Further casting and collaborators to be announced soon

Current Productions