Einstein on the Beach

Avignon, France: Avignon Festival, 1976. Original poster for the seminal 1976 four-act avant-garde opera directed by Robert Wilson and composed by Philip Glass.

"Einstein on the Beach" premiered on July 25, 1976, at the Festival d’Avignon in France, performed by the Philip Glass Ensemble and presented by the Byrd Hoffmann Foundation. It was also staged that summer in Hamburg, Paris, Belgrade, Venice, Brussels, and Rotterdam. In November of the same year, it made its American debut at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York.

One of Wilson’s most well-known works, a quintessentially minimalist, formalist opera, as well as a turning point in American theater. Though rife throughout with symbols from Einstein’s life and work, there is no direct plot line attached to him in the opera—instead he is portrayed predominantly as a historical figure. Also the first instance of Wilson’s entr’acte vignettes, which he calls “knee plays.”

The piece was Glass’ first and longest opera score, approximately five hours in length. In its original conception, there is no intermission—rather, the audience is encouraged to enter and leave as desired.

25 x 36 inches, rolled. Tiny closed tear on the top left corner, else about Near Fine.

[Book #159178]