“O thou bright sky of heaven, ye swift-winged breezes, ye river-waters, and multitudinous laughter of the waves of ocean. O universal mother Earth, and thou, all-seeing orb of the sun, to you I call! Behold what I, a god, endure of evil from the gods.”
Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound (excerpt)

When invited to collaborate on a new opera with music by Iannis Xenakis, Mr. Wilson chose to work with texts from Aeschylus’ PROMETHEUS BOUND with interludes based on Aristophanes’ THE BIRDS. The slapstick comedy of THE BIRDS contrasts with the mythic, serene air that Mr. Wilson brings to the tragedy.

It is played on a stage formed by a wide circle surrounded by a ring – the ring and the circle both turn, working together or independently.
The stage is covered with cracked, dried mud. When Prometheus steals the fire from heaven, the whole stage splits and a jagged crack divides it in two.

The second act tells of the binding of Prometheus, which takes place in a rock-strewn desert. Actress Maya Lymberopoulou as the Old Storyteller speaks (in ancient Greek) text from PROMETHEUS BOUND.
In the third act the stage is covered by a beautiful grassy landscape split by a river of light.

The play ends in a celebratory ballet of the birds that involves the whole company of twelve performers.

In addition, the piece has costumes by Franca Squarciapino and can include an orchestra performing live some of Mr. Xenakis’ music.

Athens, Greece, Megaron Athens Concert Hall, 27 – 31 January 2001
Ancona, Italy, Teatro delle Muse
12 – 15 October 2002
Merida, Spain, Teatro Romano
Summer 2003