The Byrd Hoffman Water Mill Foundation, and its European partner, the Robert Wilson Stiftung, will celebrate Robert Wilson’s 75th birthday first overseas, on his actual birthday, and again in New York, when Letter to a Man premieres at BAM. The proceeds from both will benefit the Watermill Center, which Bob has frequently called his most important artistic legacy.
Mikhail Baryshnikov and Robert Wilson first worked together on a Video Portrait of Saint Sebastian, and then on The Old Woman, a theater piece based on the writings of absurdist Russian author Daniil Kharms. Their third collaboration, Letter to a Man, is based on autobiographical texts by Vaslav Nijinsky (1889-1950), one of the most celebrated dancers and choreographers of his time who danced in Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes and created seminal choreographies himself. His diaries, written in less than six weeks in 1919, document the young man’s descent into madness. They were first published in 1936. Letter to a Man premiered on July 8, 2015 at the Caio Melisso Theater, Festival dei 2Mondi, Spoleto, Italy.
OPERA REVIVALS: TRAVIATA (PERM) & POPPEA (MILAN)
If you have missed Robert Wilson’s take on Verdi’s tragic opera La Traviata, the Perm Opera House offered another chance to catch this masterpiece between September 17 and 21. Furthermore, Milan’s opera house, the Teatro alla Scala, is reviving his 2014 production of The Coronation of Poppea (L’incoronazione di Poppea). This production concluded a trilogy of Monteverdi operas by Wilson, and can be seen with a new lead, Carmela Remigio, and under the baton of maestro Rinaldo Alessandrini, from September 22 to October 1.
Wilson started working at the Berliner Ensemble in 1998 (The Flight Across the Ocean by Bertolt Brecht), and premiered eight major productions there, including a colorful Leonce and Lena (Büchner), Brecht/Weill’s classic Threepenny Opera, and a Peter Pan adaptation with music by CocoRosie. This coming winter, yet another seminal play will be directed by Wilson there: Samuel Beckett’s Endgame, with the accomplished Wilson actors Traute Hoess, Jürgen Holtz and Georgios Tsivanoglou. The production will open in early December.
This post was written by the author in their personal capacity.The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of The Theatre Times, their staff or collaborators.