Einstein on the Beach by Philip Glass & Robert Wilson

Einstein on the Beach

Einstein on the Beach

Opera by Philip Glass
and Robert Wilson

Einstein on the Beach

Einstein on the Beach © GTG / Carole Parodi

Einstein on the Beach © GTG / Carole Parodi

Einstein on the Beach © GTG / Carole Parodi

Einstein on the Beach © GTG / Carole Parodi

Einstein on the Beach © GTG / Carole Parodi

Einstein on the Beach © GTG / Carole Parodi

Einstein on the Beach © GTG / Carole Parodi

Le Temps

“Faire pareillement danser Einstein on the Beach tient de l’enchantement.”
Einstein on the Beach © GTG / Matthieu Gafsou
What would it be like to travel on a beam of light?

Einstein’s legendary question.

Opera by Philip Glass and Robert Wilson
Texts by Lucinda Childs, Christopher Knowles and Samuel M. Johnson
First performed in Avignon – 25 JUL 1976
Swiss creation in stage version

New production
In coproduction with the Compagnia Finzi Pasca

11, 13, 14, 17, 18 Septenber 2019 7pm
15 September 2019 3pm

Duration : approx. 4h without intermission
The public may leave the room and return to it freely during the show.


In partnership with


Sponsored by


Einstein on the Beach
An Opera by Robert Wilson and Philip Glass
© 1976 Dunvagen Music Publishers Inc. Used by Permission.


Musical Director Titus Engel
Stage Director Daniele Finzi Pasca
Scenographer Hugo Gargiulo
Choreographer Maria Bonzanigo
Costumes Designer Giovanna Buzzi
Lighting Designer Alexis Bowles and Daniele Finzi Pasca
Video Roberto Vitalini
Choir director Fruzsina Szuromi

Assistant stage director Melissa Vettore
2nd assistant stage director Allegra Spernanzoni
Daniele Finzi Pasca’s assistant Estelle Bersier
Assistant scenographer Matteo Verlicchi
Assistant costumes designer Ambra Schumacher
Assistant Lighting Designer Marzio Picchetti
Creative Coder Sebastiano Barbieri

Jess Gardolin, Stéphane Gentilini, Andrée-Anne Gingras-Roy, Evelyne Laforest, Francesco Lanciotti, David Menes, Marco Paoletti, Félix Salas, Beatriz Sayad, Allegra Spernanzoni, Rolando Tarquini, Micol Veglia, Melissa Vettore

Chorus and orchestra made up of students of the Haute école de musique de Genève (HEM)

Sopranos and altos
Carolina Acuña, Margaux Frémy, Ana Belén Gabaldon Sanchez, Amélie Halary, Iga Kowalczyk, Hee-Youn Lee, Maria Marta Moraru, Sarah Pagin, Maia Steinberg, Borbála Szuromi, Ana José Nascimento Vieira Leite
Tenors and basses
Mathieu Amoos, Juan Manuel Bernal Jimenez, Arthur Cornélio, Fernando Cuellar, Benoît Dubu, Philippe Gregori, Xiang Guan, Emilio Gutiérrez, Raphaël Hardmeyer, Gabriel Neves Dos Santos

Keybord I Louise Moulinier
Keybord Yann Kerninon
Keybord II Benjamin Delpouve
Flute and piccolo I Marie Gaillard
Flute and piccolo II Ana Barbosa-Baganha
Flute and piccolo III Jonadabe De Jesus Batista
Saxophone (sop, alt) Guillaume Delange
Saxophone (alt, tén) Andres Castellani
Bass clarinet Bruna Moreira
Violin solo Madoka Sakitsu
Violin solo (doublure) Alexandra Conunova
Piano Ágnes Lőrincz


Einstein on the Beach is open like an unknown galaxy. Its topics are time and space, men and machines. Einstein on the Beach, or how to create a piece on Einstein’s theory of relativity without being a physicist — besides, what kind of physicist would want to do that? The flux of the music is like the base for a meditation on the passing of time and spaces and events. The opera is considered to be one of the most important musical creations of the 20th century.

Philip Glass, writer of operas, film music, ballets and instrumental solos or ensembles that are by now familiar to more or less everybody, composed Einstein between 1974 and 1976, based on drawings by his designer and director Robert Wilson. Glass and Wilson intended to base their work on a fascinating historical figure but decided to focus in the end on Albert Einstein, the most famous scientist of modern times. Einstein on the Beach has no narration, no plot and follows no biographical intention. The scenes are named after a field, a night train or the moon and follow each other uninterruptedly for almost four hours. The opera has no intermission — the audience can take breaks at any chosen moment. The words used and sung are either numbers or syllables, with the occasional “low-sensical” monologue added to the music.

“It’s all about time or rather its opposite: trance, a dissolution of time.” These are Daniele Finzi Pasca’s words on the piece. Leader of the theatre company that bears his name, the Swiss stage director is well known for his love of colossal ceremonies: he will be coming straight from the 2019 edition of the Fête des Vignerons to dive into the infinity of Glass’ opera.

For him, Einstein is about the relationship of human beings and time, of technology and tradition, of perspective and changes. With poetic imagery and avant-garde technological wizardry, Finzi Pasca and his troupe take us to a world where time is deconstructed into moments, where images and reflections invert into each other; where the players juggle their way towards the final frontier of the meaning of life, or life’s absence of meaning. But there is beauty in this absence of meaning, lying captive behind its looking-glass of expectancies and hopes, behind the images that crowd the imaginary galaxy brought to us by the Compagnia Finzi Pasca, with musical accompaniment by the young Swiss conductor Titus Engel, a specialist of the 20th and 21st century repertoires, and beneath the wings of this musical UFO, as welcome if somewhat uncon- ventional guests, our Einstein-Ensemble, comprised of students of the Geneva HEM (Haute école de musique de Genève).

By opening our season in the company of a local institution that carries both the tradition of past generations and the hopes of the new one, the Grand Théâtre de Genève states its intention to be a reflection of the world and to reflect upon it. It will also be an opportunity for us to collaborate with CERN, the Mecca of post-Einsteinian physics, during the CERN Open Days and experiment with a new feature, between disputation and debate, about the world around us. When the stage comes together with science, you can be sure that there will be some serious particles colliding!

In the press

«”Einstein on the Beach” éblouit sur la scène et dans la fosse du Grand Théâtre.»
«Un public hypnotisé par le son et les images»
20 minutes
«La soirée d’ouverture de saison du Grand Théâtre de Genève a su réenchanter l’opéra.»
Le Figaro
«Une nouvelle mise en scène, foisonnante et hypnotique.»
«Einstein on the Beach réenchanté à Genève»
Le Temps
«Einstein on the Beach à Genève, première³ = triomphe»
«Il faut donc Einstein sous l’angle de l’expérience. Et cette expérience est réussie.»
France musique

Einstein at La Plage

45 min before the show
Foyer GTG
Duel #1 : Can sciense save the world?
19 SEP 2019
In the Penal Colony
In the penal colony
6 & 7 SEP 2019
Salle du Lignon.
Chambre opera by Philip Glass after Franz Kafka
Open Pré-générale
7 SEP 2019 14:00
Watch one of the last rehearsals for free!
7 SEPT 2019 20:00
Free movie projection of Koyaanisqatsi (music by Philip Glass).
Late Night1
Late Night #1
7 SEPT 2019 22:00
Foyer GTG
First edition of the Late Night.
Titus Engel
10 SEPT 2019 18:15
Foyer GTG
Titus Engel introduces Einstein on the Beach. In collaboration with l’Association genevoise des amis de l’opéra et du ballet.
Journée au CERN
Extramural activities: Einstein at CERN, open house
14 SEPT 2019
En coulisse
En coulisse
15 SEPT 2019


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