Philip Glass’ Einstein On The Beach


The big operatic event this week is the North American premiere of the revival of Philip Glass’ Einstein On The Beach, as the opening event of Toronto’s Luminato Festival of Art and Creativity (June 8 to 17 2012), now in its sixth year. The work was first seen on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera in 1976 and subsequently seen at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1984. The world premiere took place in Avignon, France in July 1976, followed by a tour to Hamburg, Paris, Belgrade, Venice, Brussels, and Rotterdam. An opera in four acts connected by five intermezzos which Glass calls “knee plays”, the work lasts nearly five hours without cuts, and performed without an intermission, although audience members are allowed to come and go quietly. It is directed by Robert Wilson with choreography by Lucinda Childs.  I won’t even attempt to summarize the opera as it’s better that the audience read about it at and see it in person. There will be three performances on June 8 and 9, both at 6 p.m. and June 10 at 3 p.m. at the Sony Centre.  Here is a videoclip of the opera that will whet your appetite for this unique experience. 

— Joseph K. So

About Author

Joseph K. So is Professor Emeritus at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, but his first love is music, which he studied as an undergraduate student at the State University of New York. Since seeing his first live opera – La Gioconda with Renata Tebaldi at the Met in 1967, the singing voice became his lifelong favourite instrument. In addition to his longtime contributions to La Scena Musicale and The Music Scene, he is Associate Editor of Opera Canada and a frequent contributor to Musical Toronto.

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