The Perfect American Credit: Keith Ian Polakoff

Philip Glass’s 2013 opera about Walt Disney is based on a 2001 novel by Peter Stephan Jungk. Focused on the last three months of Disney’s life, The Perfect American imagines what might have passed through the mind of the flawed visionary as he lay in the hospital dying, including outlandish visits with Andy Warhol and an animatronic Abe Lincoln. This production, directed by Kevin Newbury, is coproduced by Chicago Opera Theater and Long Beach Opera, where it opened last month. It’s the 25th opera for Glass, who turned 80 in January, and the score might be his crowning achievement within the form. If that’s not incentive enough, local cartoontists, caricature artists, and watercolorists will be in the lobby beginning an hour prior to each performance to offer free portraits to audience members on a first-come, first-served basis.   v