Skip to main content
Norges musikkhøgskole Norwegian Academy of Music Search

Ultima 2024: Satyāgraha Redux

Project with Oslo National Academy of the Arts, the Ultima festival, and the Norwegian Academy of Music's Sinfonietta: The Glass opera Satyāgraha.

NODE / Brian Cliff Olguin / Ultima, Erik Maxin, Marion S. Trikosko, Yaniv Cohen


  • Philip Glass (1937–): Satyāgraha (1979, shortened version)


  • Philip Glass and Constance DeJong (libretto)
  • Magnus Loddgard (conductor)
  • Dancers (bachelor students from the Academy of Dance, Oslo National Academy of the Arts)
  • Anne-Linn Akselsen (choreographer)
  • NMH's Sinfonietta
  • Luca de Marchi (musical coach)
  • Magnus Loddgard (conductor and musical director)

Soloists (master students from the Academy of Opera, Oslo National Academy of the Arts)

  • Hannah Edmunds (soprano)
  • Mathilda Goike, Solvi Skogstad (mezzo-soprano)
  • Jonathan Bjørnseth (tenor)
  • Eric Korsnes, Mattis Austrheim (baritone)
  • Ulrik Stensrød (bass)


  • Magnus Loddgard, Lucia D’Errico, Heloisa Amaral

Students from the Department of Musicology, University of Oslo

  • Teresa Mantorski, Anne Christina Olaussen, Trond Hallvard Engeset Kverno, Henrik Hagen Johnsen


In the 1960s, composer Philip Glass was inspired by a trip to India where he learned of Gandhi’s energy and moral courage. This led to the composition of Satyāgraha, a minimalist opera about justice and peace, and a spiritual leader who changed the course of history.

Civil rights activist Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948) became the figurehead of India’s anti-colonial resistance. He encouraged his followers to protest peacefully with an attitude he named ‘satyāgraha’, meaning, in sanskrit, holding insistently to the truth.

This shortened version of Glass’s opera is performed by MA students from the Academy of Opera, BA dance students from KHiO and the Norwegian Academy of Music Sinfonietta. The sanskrit libretto by Constance DeJong draws from the ancient scripture Bhagavad Gita. It builds parallels between mythological struggles from Hinduism and Gandhi's own struggles during his early years in South Africa.

Glass’s cyclic, repetitive music blends solo voices with synthesizers, strings and woodwinds. In this special staging with dance, physical movements interweave with music in a continuous flow. Time is suspended, inviting to a meditation on Ghandi’s message, and the meaning that various forms of resistance might have today.

In collaboration with Den Norske Opera & Ballett, Norges musikkhøgskole, Kunsthøgskolen i Oslo and Institutt for musikkvitenskap.

More Concerts

Published: Jun 20, 2024 — Last updated: Jun 20, 2024