Tonight I attended the final dress rehearsal for LA Opera’s presentation of Phillip Glass and Robert Wilson’s (choreographed by Lucinda Childs who really deserves a larger font size on the program) Einstein on the Beach. I honestly never thought in my life that I’d have the opportunity to see this work live and to be honest, I also never thought I’d sit engaged for 4.5 hours of Phillip Glass without losing my mind. There’s a longer blog post in my head but the short of it is that I finally get why this piece gets so much play time in our undergraduate music history classes. That last statement deserves a blog post of its own so I’ll indulge myself with that later. Instead, I give you a fascinating conversation that took place between my engineer head husband and myself about five minutes after I arrived home tonight:
J: So, was it everything you thought it would be?
Me: Not sure what I thought it would be but I think so.
J: What was it again?
Me: Einstein on the Beach.
J: What is it about?
J: Right, but what’s the story?
Me: Well, it’s not that kind of piece.
J: But it’s an opera about Einstein, right?
Me: Well, yes, but it’s not really about anything specific.
J: So, it’s not about Einstein?
Me: Yes, it is about Einstein. Or well, not really but yes.
J: So, what’s the plot?
Me: There is no plot.
J: How can there be no plot?
Me: There just isn’t.
J: So, is it just music?
Me: Gosh no!
J: Well, what is it then?
Me: What is what?
J: The opera, what is it about?