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Triptych (Eyes of One on Another)

September 28, 2019

Composed by Bryce Dessner
Libretto by Korde Arrington Tuttle featuring words by Essex Hemphill and Patti Smith
Kaneza Schaal, stage director
Alicia Hall Moran, vocalist
Isaiah Robinson, vocalist
Roomful of Teeth
Brad Wells, music director and conductor
A Cal Performances Co-Commission


The classical symmetry and bold eroticism of Robert Mapplethorpe's photography meet sound and text in a hybrid theatrical experience that invites the viewer to reflect on the intimate acts of looking and being looked at. Composer Bryce Dessner, best known as a member of The National, has had a lifelong fascination with the transgressive beauty of Mapplethorpe's work, and now collaborates with librettist Korde Arrington Tuttle, designer Carlos Soto, and director Kaneza Schaal to revisit the photographer's oeuvre nearly 30 years after it instigated a now-infamous obscenity trial and controversy at the National Endowment for the Arts. The libretto draws on the poetry of Patti Smith and the writings of Essex Hemphill, who chronicled the African-American gay community during the AIDS epidemic and directly addressed the contradictions at the core of Mapplethorpe's work. The music is performed by the Grammy-winning vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth, joined by a chamber orchestra.

This production features sexually explicit images from the Robert Mapplethorpe collection that may be inappropriate for some audience members. Discretion is advised.

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PHOTO 1
Pictured: Roomful of Teeth with special guests Alicia Hall Moran & Isaiah Robinson perform Cal Performances Co-Commission Triptych (Eyes of One on Another), composed by Bryce Dessner, Saturday, September 28 in Zellerbach Hall.
(credit: AA Baranova)

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PHOTO 2
Pictured: Roomful of Teeth with special guests Alicia Hall Moran & Isaiah Robinson perform Cal Performances Co-Commission Triptych (Eyes of One on Another), composed by Bryce Dessner, Saturday, September 28 in Zellerbach Hall.
(credit: AA Baranova)

Download Photo

PHOTO 3
Pictured: Roomful of Teeth with special guests Alicia Hall Moran & Isaiah Robinson perform Cal Performances Co-Commission Triptych (Eyes of One on Another), composed by Bryce Dessner, Saturday, September 28 in Zellerbach Hall.
(credit: AA Baranova)

Download Photo

PHOTO 4
Pictured: Roomful of Teeth with special guests Alicia Hall Moran & Isaiah Robinson perform Cal Performances Co-Commission Triptych (Eyes of One on Another), composed by Bryce Dessner, Saturday, September 28 in Zellerbach Hall.
(credit: AA Baranova)

Download Photo

PHOTO 4
Pictured: Roomful of Teeth with special guests Alicia Hall Moran & Isaiah Robinson perform Cal Performances Co-Commission Triptych (Eyes of One on Another), composed by Bryce Dessner, Saturday, September 28 in Zellerbach Hall.
(credit: AA Baranova)

Download Photo