Back in March or April 2012, a friend and I agreed to go see Einstein on the Beach in its October performance in Berkeley. My friend isn’t all that into avant-garde music. It was more like a mutual dare.
About five months later, I realized I’d forgotten to get the tickets, and the few that remained were in the hundreds of dollars. We decided to pass.
Sounds like it was a great show. Mercury News critic Richard Scheinin gave it a glowing review, calling it “wondrous” and “exhausting.” The Merc let him make quite an event out of the show, as he prefaced it a few days earlier with a warm and informative interview with Philip Glass.
Scheinin admits that Einstein isn’t flawless, but it’s certainly an event. Would have been nice to be there.
You can get a great idea of what the show is like by watching Einstein on the Beach: The Changing Image of Opera, a one-hour film by Chrisann Verges and Mark Obenhaus that’s now hosted on UbuWeb. One big revelation I took from the film: Einstein might be less an opera and more a ballet, with visuals and movement that appear to be key to the whole experience. (The images here are stills from that movie; they’re not from the Berkeley performance.)
For more blather: Einstein on My CD Player.