Historia Einsteinalium: From the Beach to the Church via Theatre and ‘State Bank’

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter sheds light on the little-known “beyond Wilson” stagings of Einstein on the Beach by Achim Freyer (1988), Berthold Schneider and Veronika Witte (2001, 2005), Leigh Warren (2014), and Kay Voges (2017). The cases differ considerably. Freyer and Warren place Einstein within the scope of the “portrait” opera Trilogy, while Schneider, Witte, and Voges set it apart as a unique piece. I am interested in how these different directorial perspectives illuminate the original Wilson-Glass concept and give it new meanings, especially in those cases where the authors draw it beyond the conventional opera genre by way of installation and dance. It is not my primary intention to compare Wilson’s and others’ interpretations. However, some spontaneous comparisons emerged uninvited. That being the case, I focused on the end of Einstein as a point of reference, paying special attention to the Spaceship scene as a kind of climactic finale of Einstein. The Aria that precedes the Spaceship and Knee Play 5, which comes after it and ends the piece, together reveal interesting perspectives on enduring problems of humanity and how they might be represented onstage.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEinstein on the Beach
Subtitle of host publicationOpera beyond Drama
EditorsJelena Novak, John Richardson
Place of PublicationAbingdon
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781317145394
ISBN (Print)9781472473707
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

Publication series

NameAshgate Interdisciplinary Opera Series


  • Einstein on the Beach,
  • Achim Freyer
  • Lee Warren
  • Kay Voges
  • Bethold schneider
  • Veronika Witte


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