• Wayne Shorter & Esperanza Spalding: Iphigenia

Wayne Shorter & Esperanza Spalding

A New Opera
West Coast Premiere
A Cal Performances Co-commission

Members of the Wayne Shorter Quartet

Wayne Shorter, composer
esperanza spalding, librettist and performer
Frank Gehry, set designer
Liliana Blain-Cruz, director
Clark Rundell, conductor

A living legend of jazz collaborates with one of the brightest lights of the younger generation in the West Coast premiere of a Cal Performances co-commission that reimagines what opera can be, and asks us to reexamine the stories we have inherited and the choices we make as a society.

Wayne Shorter, 11-time Grammy-winning composer and saxophonist, has composed the music, and Esperanza Spalding, four-time Grammy-winning bassist, composer, and vocalist, is the librettist and plays the title role in Iphigenia, a radical new take on Euripides’ ancient Greek play Iphigenia in Aulis. Classical and jazz forms collide in an expansive score that features Shorter’s groundbreaking method of symphonic improvisation, lifting up Spalding’s artfully poetic and fractured libretto.

The fully staged work is performed by a 28-piece chamber ensemble; three members of the venerated Wayne Shorter Quartet; a cast of nine vocalists; and a chorus of 10 singers; with set design by icon Frank Gehry and directed by Liliana Blain-Cruz. As Spalding explains, “Our Iphigenia has at its core a sense of autonomy—in this adventure of life, you have freedom of choice. The overarching sentiment is one of humanistic love, of wanting to re-awaken the dreams of youth free of the pressures of adulthood.”

Made possible, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts and an Anonymous Patron Sponsor.

Feb 12, 2022, 8pm


Feb 12, 2022, 8pm

On Sale Dates

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Aug 17 Subscriptions and Add-on Tickets to Donors $100-$1,499 and Renewing Subscribers*
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2021/22 Season Calendar

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