GIUSEPPE PENNISI reviews John Adams' opera
'I Was looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky'
Very few Italian opera houses perform modern (ie twentieth/21st century) American operas. They are afraid that the audience will not show up and that ticket sales will be disappointing. Rome's Teatro dell'Opera and the Teatro Regio in Turin are among the daring few. It is a rare case that in September, when people still go to the beach, two American operas are nearly simultaneously performed: Philip Glass' Akhnaten in Milan and Turin as a part of a Festival and John Adams' I Was looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky (fully staged) in Rome. This is a good indication that theatre managers and artistic directors are helping the audience to acquire more modern tastes. I did not travel to Milan or Turin for the concert version of Akhnaten because I have still an excellent memory of a fully staged production at the Opéra du Rhin in Strasbourg some ten years ago. But I was at the opening night of I Was looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky on 11 September 2015.