The interconnection of people, places and even time weaves through Thornton Wilder’s 1928 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Bridge of San Luis Rey. The American writer’s most celebrated work ponders the coincidence or divine fate that brings five random people to a Peruvian rope bridge, woven by the Incas a century earlier, when it collapses in 1714.

It has inspired a web of connections in real life too. Through nearly a century of book clubs and classes, no doubt, but also several screen and stage adaptations, including Hermann Reutter’s 1954 German-language opera. It has been referred to many times, including by UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, who quoted the novel at a memorial service for the September 2001 terrorist attacks. In the song San Francisco, Judy Garland even slips the San Luis Rey Bridge in among several famous real ones.

The Bridge of The Bridge of San Luis Rey

About six years ago, Australian virtuoso guitarist Slava Grigoryan was drawn into that endlessly interconnecting web during a conversation with Douglas Gautier. The Adelaide Festival Centre’s CEO suggested...