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May 4

Einstein on the Beach

With Philip Glass and Robert Wilson at Barbican Centre


Friday 4 May 2012 at 6:00pm


Barbican Centre
Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS, United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)20 7638 8891


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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 at the Metropolitan Opera in 1976.

It is still recognised as one of their greatest masterpieces. Now, nearly four decades after it was first performed and twenty years since its last production, Einstein on the Beach will be reconstructed bringing this ground-breaking work to new audiences and an entirely new generation.

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 synthesisers, 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 is no intermission, however the audience is invited to enter and exit at liberty during the performance

An opera in Four Acts by Robert Wilson and Philip Glass
Lucinda Childs choreography

Please note: The house will be open and the audience will be invited to take their seats twenty-minutes prior to curtain up (18:00, 17:30, 16:00 – please check your curtain up time when booking).

Running time: 5 hours from the house opening

The 2012 production of Einstein on the Beach, An Opera in Four Acts was commissioned by: the Barbican, London; BAM; Cal Performances University of California, Berkeley; Luminato, Toronto Festival of Arts and Creativity; De Nederlandse Opera/ The Amsterdam Music Theatre; Opera et Orchestre National de Montpellier Languedoc-Rousillon; University Musical Society of the University of Michigan.

Produced by Pomegranate Arts Inc.


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