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Book of Longing by Philip Glass and Leonard Cohen (second show)


Event Status

Second show added due to popular demand.

This multi-dimensional performance combines poetry, music, images and text in a complex and intoxicating meeting of two musical icons: Leonard Cohen and Philip Glass.

Composed by Philip Glass and adapted from Cohen’s 2006 poetry collection Book of Longing, this modern opera stars Richard Piper (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) and features four singers, eight instrumentalists, and projections of Cohen’s drawings and poems. It’s a work that explores romance, biography, balladry, the dharma, limericks and rhymes.

Glass is the long-reigning emperor of modern classical music. Cohen spent his career melding pop, folk and Euro-cabaret with his existential-meets-erotic confessional style. Here, they summon the best in each other with a work of feverish passion and wily humour, full of spiritual striving, romantic yearning and witty self parody.

Join us at The Edge – Fed Square for a new production of this audacious, magnetic and convention-busting performance.


MSO Cybec Assistant Conductor 2022

RICHARD PIPER as the voice of Leonard Cohen

Emily Burke, soprano
Dimity Shepherd, mezzo
Martin Buckingham, tenor
Christopher Tonkin, baritone
and Young Artists of ACOCo

Directed by Linda Thompson

The bookseller for this event is Readings.

Presented in partnership with Australian Contemporary Opera Co. and Fed Square.



You can learn more about accessibility at Fed Square on their website. Please notify us of all access requirements when booking online so we can assist you with your visit. If you require further information, please contact reception on 03 9094 7800 or


Richard Piper

Richard Piper has had a distinguished acting career in England and Australia, appearing in over 80 productions, including 40 for Melbourne Theatre Company. After training at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, Piper appeared in West End productions Grease and Elvis. In the 1980s he... Read more


The Edge, Fed Square

The Atrium Flinders Street Federation Square Melbourne Victoria 3000

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