Robert Wilson Newsletter / Spring – Summer 2017


 

SPRING – SUMMER 2017

Final Bows after SANDMAN Opening in Düsseldorf (Photograph © Sebastian Hoppe)
Dear Friends of Robert Wilson,
 
If you check out our online Calendar regularly, you know that there is a lot of Bob’s work to be seen this spring and summer. Amidst a myriad of new productions, some “older” ones had notable achievements: La Traviata won three Golden Masks in April (Russia’s most prestigious award in the Performing Arts), and is among the nominees for Best Production at the Austrian Music Theater Award; Pushkin’s Fairy Tales just reached its 80th performance-and keeps counting, as it will stay in repertoire at the Theater of Nations; and Shakespeare’s Sonnets, the production from the Berliner Ensemble with music by Rufus Wainwright, will receive its last two performances today and tomorrow at the Bergen Festival, tonight in the presence of King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway.
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Christian Friedel (Nathanael) in SANDMAN (Photograph © Lucie Jansch)
“PRETTY EYES”: THE SANDMAN ROCKS AND ROLLS

The Sandman is a short story by E.T.A. Hoffmann (1776-1822), one of the masters of German Romanticism and Gothic horror tales. It triggered Sigmund Freud to explore the protagonist’s unconscious fear of castration (“The Uncanny”), and became inspiration and subject of many other works, most famously the “Olympia Act” in Offenbach’s opera Tales of Hoffmann. This month, an unlikely duo premièred a staged version of Hoffmann’s story: Bob teamed up with the British rock star Anna Calvi to create a gripping tale that journeys into the wildest dreamscapes. Last weekend, the work celebrated its Düsseldorf opening, and was greeted by an enthusiastic crowd with more than 15 minutes of standing ovations. Before long, the production will tour to select theaters and festivals, but for the time being it remains in repertoire in Düsseldorf. Check out the upcoming dates on our web site; this is a show you definitely don’t want to miss!

The cast skips between grotesque and horror. There’s a fine line between laughter and terror. Perhaps Sandman will become another hit like Black Rider. This horror musical certainly has the musical potential. (Welt am Sonntag / Germany)

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“THIS HAMMER IS HOT”: EDDA IN OSLO AND THE WORLD

Acclaimed Norwegian writer Jon Fosse’s version of the Old Norse epic Edda received its world première in Bob’s direction, and with music by CocoRosie, this March at Det Norske Teatret in Oslo. The first series of performances was a roaring success with Norwegian audiences. Unfortunately it is already over, but you will have the chance to see the show in Aarhus (Denmark) this October, or on the subsequent world tour, which is being planned at this moment. Rumor has it that it may travel as far as Asia and the US. Check back on our web site for more information soon.

In Edda the Norse mythology comes alive in a way completely different from anything we are familiar with from traditional productions. … It is stunning, it is abstract absurdism and it is above all Robert Wilson. (Dagsavisen / Norway)

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Excerpts from FABLES Video Portraits by Robert Wilson © RW Work, Ltd.
OF WOLVES, SHEEP AND COFFEE: ITALIAN EXHIBITS

If you happen to be in Italy these days, we highly recommend visiting the beautiful town of Varese, and check out Villa Panza, the first home of Giuseppe Panza di Biumo’s (1923-2010) world-famous contemporary art collection. Bob has designed a monument in the collector’s honor, A House for Giuseppe Panza, which is situated in the Villa’s garden. Moreover, he created another permanent installation of brand new video portraits, inspired by Italo Calvino’s fable Mrs. Fox and Mr. Wolf(1954), in the Villa’s former stables. 

While you are in Northern Italy, why not include Venice in your travel plans: until July 16, Bob’s exhibition entitled the dish ran away with the spoon: everything you can think of is true, an imaginative display of illycaffè’s Art Collection coffee cups, can be seen at the Magazzini del Sale, Dorsoduro.

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Martin Schneider (Crocodile) and Stefan Kurt (Hook) in PETER PAN (Photograph © Lucie Jansch)
OTHER REVIVALS AND TOURS

For details and links to the venues, please click on the show names and follow the calendar links on the production pages:

  • Bob’s Peter Pan will be performed for the last time on June 4 and 5 at the Berliner Ensemble.
  • Pushkin’s Fairy Tales can be seen from June 10 to 12 for the last time this season at the Theater of Nations. It will be revived again next season.
  • Letter to a Man, starring Mikhail Baryshnikov, will come to Barcelona (June 29 – July 2) and Athens (July 10 – 13).
  • Bob’s landmark production of Brecht/Weill’s Threepenny Opera will be performed for the last time with the current cast at the Berliner Ensemble on June 30. It will remain in repertoire, but largely re-cast next season.
  • Hamletmachine, by German playwright Heiner Müller, will be revived with a cast of Italian students for this year’s Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy (July 7 – 16). Bob directed the work originally in 1986 in New York and Hamburg.
  • This years Summer Program at the Watermill Center will culminate in the 24th Annual Summer Benefit & Auction on July 29, honoring Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed. The Gala will be presented by Van Cleef & Arpels. Two weeks later, on August 13, Watermill invites friends and families to explore the grounds and artists’ installations during Discover Watermill Day.
  • The Rundfunkchor Berlin (Radio Choir) revealed last week in its press conference that Bob will direct a work entitled LUTHER dancing with the gods this October at the newly opened Pierre Boulez Saal (architect: Frank Gehry) in Berlin. The work will feature selected Motets by Bach, as well as compositions by Nystedt and Reich.

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Visit us at www.robertwilson.com

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Photographs courtesy of Sebastian Hoppe (1), Lucie Jansch (2+5), Lesley Leslie-Spinks (3) and RW Work, Ltd. (4).

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