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Charles Otte Works with Olivier Award-Winning Opera

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Charles Otte

Professor Charles Otte can add another accolade to his long list of award-winning work. The revival of the groundbreaking modern opera Einstein on the Beach was awarded Best New Opera Production by the Olivier Awards for its run at the Barbican Theatre in London last May. Otte served as staging associate for the revival, which continues to tour around the world since its world premiere in March 2012 in Montpellier, France.

Einstein on the Beach is an opera in four acts composed by legendary minimalist composer Philip Glass and directed by veteran theatrical producer Robert Wilson. The unconventional piece explores ideas and concepts of Albert Einstein's life, but eschews traditional narrative opera structure. It instead relies heavily on staging set pieces to elicit theatrical truth through a formalist approach. Newsweek called Einstein on the Beach "one of the truly pivotal artworks of our time."

The Laurence Olivier Award is an annual recognition presented by the Society of London Theatre to acknowledge excellence in professional theatre. Often referred to as the British equivalent of the Tony Awards, the Olivier Awards recognize plays produced in the West End or other areas of London.

This is not Otte's first collaboration with Philip Glass. He began an association with the Oscar nominated composer and later directed Glass's multimedia opera La Belle et La Bete, which received its premiere at The Next Wave Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Additional work with Glass includes staging the Lincoln Center production of Songs from Liquid Days, staging The Civil Wars at Carnegie Hall (again for Robert Wilson), and staging Glass's opera The Juniper Tree (for Andrei Serban) at the Houston Opera.

Einstein on the Beach continues its international tour with a run at the State Theatre in Melbourne, Australia July 31 - August 4, and a return stateside to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles October 11-13.

Monday, May 13, 2013