“Adam’s Passion” by Robert Wilson and Arvo Pärt to be performed at the Rome Opera

The Estonian State Concert Institute (Eesti Kontsert) and Milanese production company Change Performing Arts have signed a contract with the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma for the production of the musical theatre work “Adam’s Passion” by Robert Wilson and Arvo Pärt.

The work that premiered in 2015 in the Estonian capital, Tallinn, will be performed twice, on 31 March and 1 April, at the La Nuvola Conference Center, where the special projects of the Rome Opera take place.

“’Adam’s Passion’ is a large-scale masterwork of modern music theatre, a story of the beginnings and destinies of humankind, created by two giants in the international scenery of music and arts for many decades: Arvo Pärt, one of the most played contemporary composers of our time, and Robert Wilson, one of the most sought-after stage directors worldwide,” a representative of the Estonian State Concert Institute said in a statement.

“In ‘Adam’s Passion’, Robert Wilson designs a poetic visual world in which the mystical musical language of Arvo Pärt can set its meditative spell. Three of Pärt’s major works – “Adam’s Lament”, “Tabula rasa” and “Miserere”, as well as “Sequentia”, a supplementary work composed especially for this production – are brought together, using light, space, and movement to create a tightly woven Gesamtkunstwerk (a work of art that makes use of all or many art forms – editor), in which the visions of these two prominent artists mirror each other,” the statement added.

A scene from “Adam’s Passion”. Photo by Kristian Kruuser and Kaupo Kikkas.

The setting of Rome “profoundly meaningful”

According to Madis Kolk, the initiator and producer of the production, Rome as the setting for “Adam’s Passion” is profoundly meaningful.

“Everything began here in the Vatican: Arvo Pärt and Robert Wilson met for the first time and exchanged ideas, participating in the forum of cultural luminaries at the invitation of Pope Benedict XVI. Now a significant benefit will be given by the presence of Robert Wilson himself, leading the rehearsal process during which in a vast black box in La Nuvola Wilson’s superior quality theatre hall will be erected. Remarkably, the creative and technical team will include many of the original members of the premiere production from Estonia,” Kolk said.

The world premiere of “Adam’s Passion” took place in 2015 at the Noblessner Foundry in Tallinn. In 2018, it was performed at the Berlin Konzerthaus to celebrate the 100th birthday of the Republic of Estonia. A documentary and a concert film were made about the production and its birth by Accentus Music, a German production company.

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