Last year, a friend who appeared in the 1992 New York production of Einstein on the Beach asked local soprano Lindsay Kesselman if she would consider leaving home for long stretches to do an international tour with the Robert Wilson-Philip Glass opera. Kesselman didn’t miss a beat: in May she flew to New York to audition, and she got the part.

After completing an intense New York rehearsal, she’s back in town this month, rehearsing for the University Musical Society’s presentation of Einstein at the Power Center (see Events, Jan. 20). Kesselman says spectators can enjoy the five-hour piece without advance preparation, but watching a PBS documentary about the original production, reading a biography of Einstein–“the more information you have of him, the more details you’ll notice”–and listening to music by Glass will help set the stage. There are also a series of preparatory events in Ann Arbor this month.

Wilson, director and designer of the piece, is excited about the remount, particularly since “we are planning to re-envision Einstein with a new generation of performers, some of whom were not even born when Einstein had its world premiere.” That includes the twenty-eight-year-old Kesselman.