CIVIL WARS, THE: A TREE IS BEST MEASURED WHEN IT IS DOWN | ROME (1984) Theatre poster$750.00
Robert Wilson (director), Philip Glass, David Byrne, Gavin Bryars (composers) Rome: Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, 1984. Vintage original 33 x 24″ (84 x 61 cm.) poster, unfolded, fine.
Poster for the “Rome” movement of the 1984 opera directed by Robert Wilson with music by Philip Glass, David Byrne, Gavin Bryars and others, as performed at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma in March of 1984.
The CIVIL warS was originally conceived as six movements, created in six different countries, that once premiered in their countries of origin would then be joined together into a daylong opera for the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. However, after adequate funding never surfaced for the project, the piece remained incomplete and is now known only for its five completed sections. It has never been performed in its entirety.
This poster is for the “Rome” movement, with music composed by Philip Glass. During the piece, the Earth Mother and a Snow Owl join Abraham Lincoln in a prayer for peace. It then includes appearances from Giuseppe Garibaldi, Hopi dancers, Robert E. Lee, Seneca the Younger and Mary Todd Lincoln. Glass composed the music late in the process, after Wilson had already completed a silent staging of the opera.