Performa Presents

Robin Rhode

Arnold Schönberg's Erwartung - A Performance by Robin Rhode
Run time: Approx 1hr
Run time: Approx 1hr

Times Square
Btw 42nd & 43rd St.
New York, NY 10036


Robin Rhode performs Austrian composer Arnold Schönberg's atonal opera Erwartung (Expectation), transforming it to reflect the experiences of women who have been separated interminably from their husbands by the migrant labor system, political exile, activism and/or imprisonment.

Composed in 1909, Erwartung by Arnold Schönberg tells a melancholy story of love, loss, and longing that takes the form of a one-act monodrama. Rhode’s performance, Arnold Schönberg's Erwartung - A Performance by Robin Rhode, grounds these complex, universal emotions to the particular social and cultural trauma of South African racial politics and migrant labor. Set in New York City’s Times Square, the intimate one-person show is scaled to dramatic proportions within this most public of settings, giving a candid and global voice to this cause; a woman’s anguish explodes on the streets of New York as an operatic monument to lamentation. Conducted by Maestro Arturo Tamayo, performed by the renowned French soprano Carole Sidney Louis and German-South African actor Moses Leo, and described by Schönberg himself as a 30-second anxiety attack extended musically into a 30-minute opera, Erwartung invites us inside an encounter of pain and perseverance. Staged on a set based on the original designs sketched by Schönberg in 1909, Rhode's mise-en-scène draws threads between the past and present versions of this performance.

Cast and Crew
Arnold Schöenberg, Composer 
Robin Rhode, Artistic Director 
Arturo Tamayo, Orchestral Conductor
Carole Sidney Louis, Soprano
Moses Leo, Male Character
Wet Ink, Orchestral Performance Robin Rhode, Costume Design
Raphael Oeschger, ​Executive Producer
PERFORMA and RHODEWORKS GmbH, Associate Producers


Artist Robin Rhode in conversation with Performa Founding Director and Curator RoseLee Goldberg at MoMA
Wednesday, October 28, 2015, 7pm

Image credit: Robin Rhode, Arnold Schönberg’s Erwartung - A Performance by Robin Rhode, 2015. A Performa Commission. Photo by Paula Court


Co-presented with VIA Art Fund and Times Square Arts. With support from Renee and Robin Drake.

Special thanks to Lehmann Maupin Gallery for their support of Arnold Schönberg's Erwartung - A Performance by Robin Rhode.

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