With music composed and conceived by Nhlanhla Mahlangu and Kyle Shepherd
Part 1: The Moment Has Gone
Part 2: Waiting for the Sibyl
William Kentridge, concept and director
Nhlanhla Mahlangu, choral composer and associate director
Kyle Shepherd, composer and music director
Žana Marović, editor and compositor
Greta Goiris, costume designer
Sabine Theunissen, set designer
Urs Schönebaum, lighting designer
Gavan Eckhart, sound engineer
Duško Marović, cinematographer
Kim Gunning, video orchestrator
Kyle Shepherd, piano
Nhlanhla Mahlangu, voice, dance
Xolisile Bongwana, voice, dance
Thulani Chauke, dance
Teresa Phuti Mojela, dance
Thandazile “Sonia” Radebe, dance
Ayanda Nhlangothi, voice
Zandile Hlatshwayo, voice
Siphiwe Nkabinde, voice
S’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.
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 music is composed by Nhlanhla Mahlangu and Kyle Shepherd, and layers South African vocal harmonies with rhythmic chants and piano accompaniment. 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. “Watching the opera unfold, it is hard not to luxuriate in Kentridge’s artistry. In the beauty of his drawings” (The Guardian).
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.
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.