A beautiful brain. Johannes Kepler, the 16th- and 17th-century German mathematician and astronomer best known for his laws of planetary motion, might not be as legendary for his clashes with the Church as, say, Galileo, but he wrestled throughout his life with questions of faith and reason. This is a non-narrative opera about Kepler's thoughts and musings, and it will leave you with a lot to ponder.
Philip Glass is a big deal. Ask any classical music buff for a list of the top composers of the 20th century, and the composer of this year's big Spoleto opera will probably make it in the top five. Don't know squat about post-modern musical movements? This would be an apt introduction.
The Austrians ate it up. Kepler premiered in 2009 in Linz, Austria, a town where the scientist did some of his most important work, and it sold out and got rave reviews. L.A. Times critic Mark Swed, reviewing the opera's subsequent Brooklyn premiere, noted that Glass hasn't gotten as much love in the States and wrote, "Linz knows what we don't — that Glass, following Kepler's lead, understands that there really may be a music of the spheres. Kepler is a wise, major opera."