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经济学人:沙滩上的爱因斯坦

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Books and Arts; Opera review; Einstein on the beach;

文艺;歌剧评论;沙滩上的爱因斯坦;

Breaking the waves; An avant-garde opera on a rare world tour.

乘风破浪;一部先锋歌剧正在进行世界巡演,机会难得。

THE music of “Einstein on the Beach” is so grand and epic—yet so mesmerising and repetitive—that it feels as if it were the soundscape of a dream. Indeed, much of this odd and wondrous opera, the work of Philip Glass and Robert Wilson, with some transcendent choreography from Lucinda Childs, seems to inhabit a liminal space, eerie and otherworldly. Clocking in at nearly five hours without an interval (viewers can come and go as they please), the production is less a work of entertainment than an experience.

“沙滩上的爱因斯坦”的音乐如史诗般宏伟壮丽——同时循环重复,引人入胜——让人有置身梦中之感。这部由菲利普·格拉斯和罗伯特·威尔逊共同创作,经露辛达·蔡尔兹出色编排的奇特而绝妙的歌剧,在很大程度上仿佛令人真的来到了一个奇异的超凡的朦胧世界。演出时间几乎五个小时,中间没有休息(观众可以随意进出)。观赏这部作品与其说是娱乐,倒不如说是一种体验。

“Einstein” stunned audiences at the opera’s premiere in Avignon 36 years ago; its narrative-free mesh of music, dance and drama inspired many to feel that they were witnessing something unprecedented. Word of mouth ensured “Einstein” enjoyed a sell-out tour in Europe, and then a hero’s welcome home in New York in late 1976, where the show filled every seat at the Metropolitan Opera. “The avant-garde has become official,” exclaimed a Met producer at the time.

三十六年前,“爱因斯坦”在阿维尼翁的首演震惊了观众;它摆脱叙事的形式,将音乐、舞蹈和戏剧融为一体,这样的表演形式让很多人觉得自己正在观看一部前所未有的杰作。有了人们的口口相传,“爱因斯坦”在欧洲的巡演场场爆满。接着在1976年末,“爱因斯坦”到纽约演出,受到了凯旋英雄般的礼遇,大都会歌剧院座无虚席。“这部先锋歌剧已受到正式认可,”当时歌剧院的一位制作人激动地说。

But the opera’s success did not mean it was profitable. As it happens, few operas make money and “Einstein” is quite a spectacle—even though it is often described as a landmark of minimalism. Its inaugural run may have made Messrs Glass and Wilson famous, but it also left them bankrupt. Not long after their Met triumph, Mr Glass went back to cab-driving in New York, struggling to make ends meet. This ordeal, together with the fact that this opera is uniquely demanding on performers and audience-members alike, has ensured that “Einstein” productions are rare.

但是演出大获成功不代表这部歌剧有利可图。事实证明,很少有歌剧能赚钱,而“爱因斯塔”正是一个奇特的典型——尽管它经常被形容为“极简主义”的里程碑。这部歌剧的首演或许让格拉斯先生和威尔逊先生声名大噪,却也让他们潦倒破产。在大都会歌剧院演出取得巨大成功后不久,格拉斯先生回到纽约开起了出租车,努力维持日常开销。这种艰苦的生活,再加上这部歌剧对表演者和观众的要求极高,使得“爱因斯坦”的演出次数非常少。

So it is impressive that a new production of this unwieldy classic—the first in 20 years—is now making its way around the world, as part of a year-long celebration of Mr Glass’s 75th birthday. After appearances in France, Italy and Britain (where it was performed at the Barbican as part of the London 2012 Festival), its next stop is Toronto’s Sony Centre from June 8th to 10th.

因此令人激动的是,这部制作庞大的经典之作,将作为格拉斯先生75岁生日为期一年的庆典活动的一部分,展开新一轮全球巡演,这是二十年来的第一次。结束了在法国、意大利和英国(在巴比肯作为伦敦2012年奥运会庆典活动的一部分进行演出)的演出之后,下一站它将在多伦多索尼索尼中心剧院演出,时间从6月8日到6月10日。

Watching the show now, some of the scripted moments feel a little absurd. And Mr Wilson’s extravagant staging reinforces the opera’s reputation as a money pit. But the two extended dance segments are irrepressibly uplifting. And the meditative music, which is so technically challenging that Mr Glass originally had trouble finding performers for it, washes over listeners, as coolly vast and mysterious as the sea itself.

现在看这部歌剧,一些有台词的场景会显得有点突兀。同时威尔逊先生奢华的舞台布景也验证了该剧耗资庞大的名声不虚。但增加的两场舞蹈让人无法抑制激动的心情。还有那冥思的音乐对技术有极大的挑战,一开始格拉斯先生为寻找合适的演奏者颇费了一番周折。人们听着这音乐,仿佛置身于一片平静浩瀚而又神秘的大海之中。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
reputation [.repju'teiʃən]

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n. 声誉,好名声

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absurd [əb'sə:d]

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adj. 荒唐的
n. 荒唐

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choreography [.kɔri'ɔgrəfi]

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n. 舞蹈,舞蹈编排

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unprecedented [ʌn'presidəntid]

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adj. 空前的,前所未有的

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repetitive [ri'petitiv]

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adj. 重复的

 
ordeal [ɔ:'di:l, ɔ:'di:əl]

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n. 严酷的考验,痛苦的经验,神裁法

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profitable ['prɔfitəbl]

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adj. 有益的,有用的

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meditative ['mediteitiv]

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adj. 沉思的,冥想的,善於思考的

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extravagant [iks'trævəgənt]

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adj. 奢侈的,浪费的,过度的,大量的

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metropolitan [.metrə'pɔlitən]

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n. 大都市的居民,大主教
adj. 大都市的

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