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  • Friday, March 16, 2012
    Philip Glass, Robert Wilson's "Einstein on the Beach" International Tour Premieres in Montpellier

    Composer Philip Glass and director Robert Wilson's Einstein on the Beach, widely credited as one of the greatest artistic achievements of the 20th century, launched its creators 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 and 20 years since its last production, Einstein on the Beach returns to France this weekend. With performances at the Opéra Berlioz / Le Corum in Montpellier tonight, tomorrow, and Sunday, the opera launches a major international tour that will include the first performances in the UK and the first North American presentations ever held outside of New York City.

    To coincide with the international tour and Glass’s 75th birthday in January, Nonesuch Records reissued its 1993 recording of Einstein on the Beach, which the Washington Post called a "more complete than the first recording and superior in both performance and sound." To pick up a copy of the three-CD set, head to the Nonesuch Store now.

    Tonight's world premiere of the Einstein on the Beach tour follows preview performances at the University of Michigan's Power Center in Ann Arbor in January and precedes performances to come in the year ahead in Italy, London, Toronto, Brooklyn, Berkeley, Mexico City, Amsterdam, and Hong Kong. For details, go to nonesuch.com/on-tour. Watch the official trailer here:

    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.

    Einstein on the Beach was revolutionary when first performed and is now considered one of the most remarkable performance works of our time. The New York Times art critic and producer John Rockwell has said of seeing Einstein on the Beach for the first time: “Einstein was like nothing I had ever encountered. For me, its very elusiveness radiated richly, like some dark star whose effects we can only feel. The synergy of words and music seemed ideal.” He continues, "Einstein on the Beach, perhaps, like Einstein himself, transcended time. It's not (just) an artifact of its era, it's timeless ... Einstein must be seen and re-seen, encountered and savored ... an experience to cherish for a lifetime."

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Philip Glass, Robert Wilson's "Einstein on the Beach" International Tour Premieres in Montpellier

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on March 16, 2012 - 2:38pm
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Friday, March 16, 2012 - 15:30
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Philip Glass and Robert Wilson's Einstein on the Beach, widely credited as one of the greatest artistic achievements of the 20th century, launched its creators to international success when it was first produced in Avignon, France, in 1976. Now, nearly four decades after it was first performed and 20 years since its last production, Einstein on the Beach returns to France with performances at the Opéra Berlioz / Le Corum in Montpellier this weekend, launching an international tour that will head to Italy, London, Toronto, Brooklyn, Berkeley, Mexico City, Amsterdam, and Hong Kong. Watch the official trailer here.

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Composer Philip Glass and director Robert Wilson's Einstein on the Beach, widely credited as one of the greatest artistic achievements of the 20th century, launched its creators 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 and 20 years since its last production, Einstein on the Beach returns to France this weekend. With performances at the Opéra Berlioz / Le Corum in Montpellier tonight, tomorrow, and Sunday, the opera launches a major international tour that will include the first performances in the UK and the first North American presentations ever held outside of New York City.

To coincide with the international tour and Glass’s 75th birthday in January, Nonesuch Records reissued its 1993 recording of Einstein on the Beach, which the Washington Post called a "more complete than the first recording and superior in both performance and sound." To pick up a copy of the three-CD set, head to the Nonesuch Store now.

Tonight's world premiere of the Einstein on the Beach tour follows preview performances at the University of Michigan's Power Center in Ann Arbor in January and precedes performances to come in the year ahead in Italy, London, Toronto, Brooklyn, Berkeley, Mexico City, Amsterdam, and Hong Kong. For details, go to nonesuch.com/on-tour. Watch the official trailer here:

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.

Einstein on the Beach was revolutionary when first performed and is now considered one of the most remarkable performance works of our time. The New York Times art critic and producer John Rockwell has said of seeing Einstein on the Beach for the first time: “Einstein was like nothing I had ever encountered. For me, its very elusiveness radiated richly, like some dark star whose effects we can only feel. The synergy of words and music seemed ideal.” He continues, "Einstein on the Beach, perhaps, like Einstein himself, transcended time. It's not (just) an artifact of its era, it's timeless ... Einstein must be seen and re-seen, encountered and savored ... an experience to cherish for a lifetime."

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Philip Glass: "Einstein on the Beach" [cover]

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