The Days Before

Music: The Days Before

The Days Before

The following is the original text from the Lincoln Center Web site:

Death, Destruction & Detroit III

With Fiona Shaw and the special participation of Isabella Rossellini, Tony Randall, Jeremy Geidt.

"Not only a vital American sensibility but one of the supreme theatrical imaginations of our time."

ROBERT WILSON EXPLORES THE MYSTERIES of messages retrieved from the history of revelations. Western mythologies, the Apocalypse, destruction, and reconstruction are the basis of Wilson's reflections on the end of the second millennium. Bestselling author Umberto Eco's text follows the character of Roberto as the sole survivor of a shipwreck abandoned at sea whose fantasies are more real than what he sees around him. Known for his stunning and evocative images, Wilson conjures up puppets, masks, a flood, an owl, three sleepwalkers, and a doughnut using Roberto's unique world as a springboard for his own imagination. Ryuichi Sakamoto, founder of the techno-pop group Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO) and winner of an Academy Award for the score of The Last Emperor, brings his intense musical sensibility to his first collaboration with Wilson.


Conceived, Designed, and Directed by Robert Wilson
Text: Umberto Eco from The Island of the Day Before
Music: Ryuichi Sakamoto
Spoken Word: Fiona Shaw

The following is the original text from the Istanbul Theatre Festival Web site:

THE DAYS BEFORE death, destruction & detroit III

A Project by Robert Wilson
Text: Excerpts from the novel "The Island of The Days Before" by Umberto Eco and "Tone Poems" by Christopher Knowles
Producer: Change Performing Arts, Milan
Co-Producers: Lincoln Center Festival, New York; International Istanbul Theatre Festival; MC93 Bobigny, Paris

"The Days Before" is conceived, designed and directed by Robert Wilson. The text is based on Umberto Eco's "The Island of the Day Before" and Tone Poems by Christopher Knowles. It is a journey through the spaces explored in Umberto Eco's text. In this story, a shipwrecked man, Roberto, from the 17th century, searches endlessly for the meridian, the line that separates today from yesterday, where on one side it is still the day before. "The Days Before" contains two acts and twelve scenes. Between each scene is a Knee Play or entr'acte. For its imagery and ideas, it draws upon Western mythologies of the Apocalypse. As a piece in continuous development, it contains elements of both destruction and reconstruction. Past, present, and future coexist tangibly.

The music is composed by Ryuichi Sakamoto. His score for Bertolucci's film "The Last Emperor" had won him an Oscar, a Grammy, and a Globe Award for best soundtrack. The famous model and actress Isabella Rosellini made her cinematic debut with Paolo and Vittorio Taviani's "Il Pratto". She received a Golden Globe Award nomination for her role in "Crime of the Century" and an Emmy award nomination for "Chicago Hope". Semiha Berksoy, a prima donna of the Turkish opera is the special guest actress of "The Days Before".

The Days Before Links

Robert Wilson's Notes -- From Wilson's homepage, this section details the project, providing a synopsis and storyboards.

LA Times Calendar review -- A quite positive review by Mark Sneed of the LA Times.

New Music Connoiseur Review -- James L. Paulk reviews the Lincoln Center performance.

New York Times -- There are two articles about The Days Before on the New York Times archives. To read them, you must first register, which is free; then you must search the archives and pay $2.50 for each article.

Ryuichi Sakamoto Homepage -- The official homepage for Ryuichi Sakamoto.

Red Bar

Music Main Page -- Eco in music and musical theater.

Treasure of the Temple -- A, Eco-inspired song from PopCanon's deliciously literate CD, The Kingdom of Idiot Rock.

That one is a heron, he said to himself, that a crane, a quail. -- Send email to the Great Quail -- comments, suggestions, corrections, criticisms, submissions . . . all are welcome!

--Allen B. Ruch
26 January 2003