Have you ever thought that opera can be that exciting and moving? No, I don't mean moving on the wheelchair. I mean really moving and touching your saddened spirit. Beyond all descriptions is this feeling of movement that comes from the music and propagates down to your essence. I'd say this work is almost Sci-Fi in a way that it tries to engulf the whole universe with all it's choir parts, trombones and other orchestral instruments.
I'm telling you all that not only from the CD-point of view, but I have actually visited the premiere two years ago. I guess the most evident difference from other Glass works that I've heard is the greater use of drums. Choir is also very recognizable in this work. It plays major role, which I am happy about, because you don't really get as much choir parts in opera in general, with the exception of Carl Orf, of course and few others. It devours our former tastes and pulls all our aesthetic attention on itself and whether you like opera or not, you will like this seemingly plain form of muisic, i.e. choir. The use of multiple voices to create music was one of the earliest music forms that ever existed and were highly valued taken into a higher rank than other musical instruments, like drums and flutes, which were more suited for a tavern, rather than spiritual enlightenment, if take middle ages as an example.
On the other hand, the music is very recognizable and you can tell who is the composer from the first riffs, so to speak. When I was on premiere, I thought that he is repeating himself and he does repeat many tricks that he invented in his music long before; nevertheless, the beauty and greatness of this fine opera are so remarkable that soon you will excuse Mr. Glass.
What I love about it especially is the heat, the apocalyptic drive that intervenes here and there. The melodies are beautiful and touching. In some "rossini-puccini" operas, the music is just for decoration, like the dress you wear or posture, and liking is the matter of so-called intelligence and you can't really say you don't like it, or you have to make up some story that you like something in between "rossini-puccini"... Unlike that, Kepler takes opera to a whole different level, where you can actually love it, like it, immerse yourself into the ocean of feelings and not just be in the theater for postures and decoration, but rip your fancy dress or expensive suit off to be left naked, one on one, with the whole greatness of the universe, stars and everything else you can think of listening to this opera.
If you don't like opera (like me), then try this one. This one is different.