Widely credited as one of the greatest artistic achievements of the 20th century, this rarely performed work launched its director Robert Wilson and composer Philip Glass to international success when it was first produced in Avignon, France in 1976 with subsequent performances in Europe and in New York at the Metropolitan Opera. It is still recognized as one of their greatest masterpieces. Now, nearly four decades after it was first performed (...)
Einstein on the Beach breaks all of the rules of conventional opera. Instead of a traditional orchestral arrangement, Glass chose to compose the work for the synthesizers, woodwinds and voices of the Philip Glass Ensemble. 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 American choreographer Lucinda Childs. It is structured in four interconnected acts and divided by a series of short scenes or "knee plays". Taking place over five hours, there are no traditional intermissions. Instead, the audience is invited to wander in and out at liberty during the performance.
The duration of the performance is about 5 hours. There is no interval. The audience is allowed to walk in and out during the performance.