Opera by Robert Wilson, Tom Waits and Paul Schmidt, based on Lewis Carroll's 'Alice in Wonderland'

Premiered on December 19, 1992 at the Thalia Theater, Hamburg, Germany

Performed in German.

Following the enormous success of The Black Rider (1990), the Thalia Theater Hamburg commissioned another work from Robert Wilson and Tom Waits. The result was Alice, a musical work about Lewis Carroll, the author of 'Alice in Wonderland' (1865) and 'Through the Looking-Glass' (1871), his obsession with the young Alice Liddell, who inspired him to write these novels, and Carroll's confusions between dream and reality.

Alice is adult songs for children, or children’s songs for adults. It’s a maelstrom or fever-dream, a tone-poem, with torch songs and waltzes... an odyssey in dream and nonsense.
— Tom Waits
Once again it is mother’s fault: whenever her son did not want to go to sleep, she would read him ‘Alice in Wonderland’; and the images of this tale, in which a girl tumbles through a hole in the ground into a phantastic world, are still ‘etched’ in Robert Wilson’s mind, he says. At Hamburg’s Thalia Theater, he dug them up and arranged them into ‘Alice,’ a stern tale for adults.
In it, Wilson ... tells two stories: one about Alice and one about Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832-1898).
Dodgson, an inhibited and speech-impaired clergyman and mathematician at Christ Church College in Oxford, felt most comfortable in the company of children. His darling was Alice Liddell, the dean’s little daughter.
It was for her that - under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll - he invented the phantastic stories of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘Through the Looking Glass.’ ...
In two acts, Bob Wilson (trademark: a style of provocative theatrical slowness) and his writer Paul Schmidt connect Dodgson’s erotic life drama with his famous fairy-tale myths. The show suggests that Dodgson wrote his books only in order to make his sexual object, Alice Liddell, rely on him.
— DER SPIEGEL, December 21, 1992

Note for Producers and Presenters
To obtain the Grand Rights for Alice, as well as for the other Wilson/Waits collaborations (The Black Rider and Woyzeck), please contact the following publishers: