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Published on Jan 7, 2013
I was in this prematurely air-conditioned supermarket and there were all these aisles. And there were these bathing caps that you could buy that had these kind of Fourth-of-July plumes on them that were red and yellow and blue. And I wasn't tempted to buy one, but I was reminded of the fact that I had been avoiding the beach.
Einstein on the Beach is an opera in four acts (framed and connected by five "knee plays" or intermezzos). Widely credited as one of the greatest artistic achievements of the 20th century, this 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.
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.