• Admission: Tickets start at $42
  • Location: Zellerbach Hall
  • 101 Zellerbach Hall
  • CA, Berkeley 94720
Mar 17 2023
recurring event

William Kentridge’s SIBYL

US Premiere

With music composed and conceived by Nhlanhla Mahlangu and Kyle Shepherd

Part 1: The Moment Has GonePart 2: Waiting for the Sibyl

William Kentridge, concept and directorNhlanhla Mahlangu, choral composer and associate directorKyle Shepherd, composer and music directorŽana Marović, editor and compositorGreta Goiris, costume designerSabine Theunissen, set designerUrs Schönebaum, lighting designerGavan Eckhart, sound engineerDuško Marović, cinematographerKim Gunning, video orchestratorElena Gui, associate lighting designer

Kyle Shepherd, pianoNhlanhla Mahlangu, voice, danceXolisile Bongwana, voice, danceThulani Chauke, danceTeresa Phuti Mojela, danceThandazile “Sonia” Radebe, danceAyanda Nhlangothi, voiceZandile Hlatshwayo, voiceSiphiwe Nkabinde, voiceS’busiso Shozi, voice

Myth, magic, music, movement, and mesmerizing imagery combine in revered South African visual artist William Kentridge’s newest production.

Presented in two parts, SIBYL is inspired by the Greek myth of the Cumaean Sibyl, and wrestles with the human desire to know our future and our helplessness before powers and technologies that obscure that knowledge from us. The chamber opera Waiting for the Sibyl features nine vocalists and dancers interacting with Kentridge’s distinctive stage design, which energizes the action of the performers with hand-painted sets, animated ink drawings, swirling projected text, collage, and shadow play. The music is composed by Nhlanhla Mahlangu and Kyle Shepherd, and layers South African vocal harmonies with rhythmic chants and piano accompaniment.

Kentridge has taken the opera world by storm in recent years with his strikingly original productions of works by Berg, Mozart, and Shostakovich, which have graced such illustrious stages as the Metropolitan Opera, the English National Opera, the Théâtre National de l’Opéra (Paris), the Staatsoper (Berlin), and the Sydney Opera House, among many others.

The first part of the program, The Moment Has Gone, is a film by Kentridge with live music featuring a piano score by Shepherd and an all-male vocal chorus led by Mahlangu. “Combining art, theater, music, and dance, Sibyl is 21st- century international culture par excellence” (The Financial Times).

Join us a post-performance Q&A with the artists and Cal Performances executive and artistic director Jeremy Geffen on Sunday, March 19. Free to all ticket holders of that date.

SIBYL is co-commissioned by Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, and Dramaten-Stockholm. Executive Producer: THE OFFICE performing arts + film.

This event is part of Cal Performances’ Illuminations: “Human and Machine” programming for the 2022–23 season.

This event is part of a season-long campus residency with William Kentridge.

Major support provided by The Bernard Osher Foundation.

The March 18 performance is made possible, in part, by Lance and Dalia Nagel; the March 19 performance is made possible, in part, by Nadine Tang.

Run time for this performance is approximately 85 minutes, including intermission.

Upcoming Dates For This Event:
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