Passion for Adam is a collaboration between Robert Wilson and composer Arvo Pärt.

Robert Wilson, Adam’s passion | Photo © Kristian Kruuser /Kaupo Kikkas

Using light, space and movement, Wilson combines Arvo Pärt’s choral works, “The Crying of Adam and Miserer,” a double concert for two violins, “Tabula rasa,” and the new work, “Sequentia,” specially created for this production and dedicated to Wilson. by the author.

The plot tells of Adam, who, after being expelled from the Garden of Eden, foresees all the catastrophes of mankind, blaming himself for them. In the end, he again seeks love for God.

For many of his sets, Wilson collaborated with architect and stage designer Serge von Arks. In anticipation of the upcoming concert this month at Konzerthaus Berlin Scenography, “Today” asked him for some comments.

Robert Wilson, Adam’s passion | Photo © Kristian Kruuser /Kaupo Kikkas

Von Arks believes that in thirty unrealized productions that he worked on, Adam’s Passion stands out from how the project evolved from an internal contradiction.

«Wilson’s starting point in working with this beautiful music was to argue that the best way to listen to it is to close your eyes. The controversy that really worked on stage, ”says von Arks.

It all started with what was thought in the head before, and then changed, simplified and really came down to the essence, which really allows you to focus or listen to music. The unfolding visual effects make it possible to listen even better than closed eyes, which, I think, is a rather interesting achievement in the clarity and simplicity of the vocabulary that Wilson uses.

Robert Wilson, Adam’s passion | Photo © Kristian Kruuser /Kaupo Kikkas

It all started with the fact that what was thought in the head, then changed, simplified and really came down to the essence, which really allows you to concentrate or listen to music.

The unfolding visual effects allow you to listen even better than with your eyes closed, which, we think, is a rather interesting achievement in the clarity and simplicity of the vocabulary that Wilson uses.

In Wilson’s works, music is always a key aspect.

«“None of his works are without music,” says von Arks, “and usually it is created with the work. That’s why he considers it important that composers be present as much as possible, so that they can really sculpt and build collaboration.

In Adam’s Passion, on the contrary, music has already been created, and the narrative should have been built on it. Except in the case of the opera, where the music is given, but also the narrative, Adam’s passion is a rare case when Wilson had to work on a “fixed thread”, “therefore the work is not a constant dialogue or weaving together

Robert Wilson, Adam’s passion | Photo © Kristian Kruuser /Kaupo Kikkas

«Of the various components, as we are used to seeing, instead, “it’s almost one fixed thread in which something is woven until the weaving almost disappears, making the original thread, music, even stronger and better visible,” he says.

Another interesting aspect that von Arks emphasizes is the result of the relocation of production. Adam’s passion was first staged at the Noblessner Foundry in Tallinn, a former underwater factory built in the early 20th century, in a completely different place than the Berlin neoclassical concert hall.

Robert Wilson, Adam’s passion | Photo © Kristian Kruuser /Kaupo Kikkas

«It will be interesting to see how production is transferred from the industrial hall to this refurbished architecture l of the Berlin Konzerthaus. At first glance, the contrast could not be stronger. What will be the connection points, how much else will it be witnessed in the Berlin concert hall? “- Von Arks is surprised.

Arvo Pärt’s music, directing, set design and lighting design by Robert Wilson in collaboration with Tilman Hecker (directing) and Serge von Arks (set design). Lights A.Ya. Weissbard, costumes of Carlos Soto.

Translation by Anastasia Carnot specifically for the author’s magazine “From the Dark Side …”
Original article for the German magazine Today https://www.scenographytoday.com/robert-wilson-adams-passion/

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