Widely recognised as one of the greatest artistic achievements of the 20th century, Einstein on the Beach will return to Australia for an exclusive season at Arts Centre Melbourne as part of a major world tour, bringing to a new generation this ground-breaking work that changed the way theatre was made.
Rarely performed due to its epic scale, Einstein on the Beach, An Opera in Four Acts launched its director Robert Wilson and composer Philip Glass to international success when it was first produced in Avignon in 1976 with subsequent performances in Europe and New York.
Now nearly four decades since it was first performed and 21 years since its last production – seen exclusively in Australia at the 1992 Melbourne festival – a remarkable revival by Wilson, Glass, and choreographer Lucinda Childs has critics and audiences in raptures all over again.
Einstein on the Beach is a modern classic that encompasses dance, visual arts, opera, theatre and music, transforming its audience and leaving a lasting emotional impact. Comprising a touring company of 62 members, Einstein on the Beach runs for four-and-a-half hours without interval. The audience is able to leave and re-enter the auditorium as they wish.
With no story, hero, or heroine, Einstein on the Beach unfolds as a hypnotic tableau, inspired by the poetic idea of Albert Einstein’s scientific genius and propelled by Philip Glass’s sublime score.
A cosmic chorus of syllables, numbers, streams of consciousness, and enigmatic poems – punctuated by Lucinda Childs’ choreography – unfurls beneath Robert Wilson’s spectacular set and precision lighting design, enlivening this epic, seminal masterwork of 20th century performance.
Einstein on the Beach was the first collaboration between Robert Wilson and Philip Glass. The work breaks all the rules of conventional opera, including the relationship among the 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 dramatic device shown in juxtaposition with abstract dance sequences choreographed by Lucinda Childs. It is based on numerical repetitions which offer obvious links to the mathematical and scientific breakthroughs made by Einstein.
Einstein on the Beach
State Theatre – Arts Centre Melbourne
Season: 31 July – 4 August 2013
Bookings: 1300 182 183 or online at: www.artscentremelbourne.com.au
For more information, visit: www.artscentremelbourne.com.au for details.