|ROBERT WILSON||EINSTEIN ON THE BEACH|
|back to homepage
Teatro Romolo Valli
24-25 March 2012
| For the First Time in Two Decades, Full Production of theRarely Performed Work Will Tour Internationally in 2012-2013.
The Robert Wilson/Philip Glass collaboration Einstein on the Beach, An Opera in Four Acts is widely recognized as one of the greatest creative achievements of the 20th century. An international breakthrough for two of America's most celebrated artists, the production, in turn, radically and indelibly broadened what audiences might expect from opera, theater or performance art. John Rockwell, who reviewed the 1976 world premiere for The New York Times, has called Einstein on the Beach "timeless" and "an experience to cherish for a lifetime." The production's only two revivals to date, in 1984 and 1992, proved equally enthralling to audiences and critics. Although every performance of the work has attracted a sold-out audience, and the music has been recorded and released, few people have actually experienced Einstein live. New audiences and an entirely new generation will have the opportunity during a 2012-2013 international tour in which New York-based producer Pomegranate Arts will bring the work to major cities around the world.
Opera et Orchestre National de Montpellier Languedoc-Roussillon is scheduled to present the world premiere of Einstein on the Beach at the Opera Berlioz Le Corum on March 17 and 18, 2012. From May 4-13, 2012, the Barbican will present the first-ever UK performances of the work in conjunction with the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival. The North American premiere at the June 2012 Luminato, Toronto Festival of Arts and Creativity represents the first North American presentation ever held outside of New York City. The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) 2012 Next Wave Festival will once again be home to the New York premiere, having presented the 1984 and 1992 iterations. Having never before been presented on the West Coast, the production will run for a week in the fall of 2012 at Cal Performances on the University of California, Berkeley campus.
The tour is currently slated to conclude at Amsterdam's De Nederlandse Opera/The Amsterdam Music Theatre in January 2013. Before the tour, in January 2012, the entire Einstein on the Beach company will be in residence at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, whose University Musical Society will host technical rehearsals and early previews.
Einstein on the Beach breaks all of the rules of conventional opera, including the relationship among the work's creators. Wilson devised the visual book-the structure and designs-at the same time Glass composed the music. Non-narrative in form, the work uses a series of powerful recurrent images as its main storytelling device shown in juxtaposition with abstract dance sequences created by Lucinda Childs. A long-term collaborator of Glass and Wilson, she choreographed the opera in 1984 and 1992 and was a principal performer in the original and both subsequent productions of the work.
Einstein on the Beach is structured in four interconnected acts and divided by a series of short scenes. Instead of a traditional orchestral arrangement, Glass chose to compose the work for the synthesizers, woodwinds and voices of The Philip Glass Ensemble. There are no traditional intervals in Einstein on the Beach, however the audience is invited to enter and exit at liberty during the performance.
The Byrd Hoffman Foundation originally presented the work in 1976, first at the Festival d'Avignon in France, and ultimately, in the fall of that year, at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
Einstein on the Beach was the first collaboration between Glass and Wilson. For the new production, they are working with a number of their longtime collaborators, including Lucinda Childs, who will serve as choreographer, as she did in 1984 and 1992. All of these artists are now in their 70s; the production will be a cornerstone of Glass's 75th birthday year. They are committed to passing on the work to a new generation, and so are recruiting younger artists for the creative team and cast.