Wilson's works include the 12-hour Life and Times of Joseph Stalin (1973); the five-hour Einstein on the Beach (1976, rev. 1984), a collaboration with Philip Glass and his best-known work; the day-long Civil Wars (1984), with Glass, David Byrne, and others; 1990s operatic extravaganzas (again with Glass), including White Raven and The Palace of the Arabian Nights; The Days Before: Death, Destruction, and Detroit III (1999), a collaborative multimedia meditation on the Apocalypse; and I La Galigo (2004), a three-and-a-half-hour adaptation of an ancient Indonesian epic. Working in Europe and the United States, Wilson has been a phenomenally prolific director, mounting brilliantly strange productions of various classics, including Wagner's Parsifal, Büchner's Danton's Death, Shakespeare's King Lear, and La Fontaine's Fables.
See C. Nelson, ed., Robert Wilson, The Theater of Images (1984); L. Shyer, Robert Wilson and His Collaborators (1989); A. Holmberg, The Theatre of Robert Wilson (1996); K. Otto-Bernstein, dir., Absolute Wilson (documentary film, 2006).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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