The prophetess Sibyl writes people’s fates down on oak leaves and places them on a heap of leaves at the entrance to her cave dwelling. But then the wind picks up and everything is swirled into a muddle. All control over the prophecies is lost. Or has the desire for foreseeability always been in vain? This ancient myth was the inspiration for the two-part musical evening Sibyl by South African artist William Kentridge and his team. Preluded by a 20-minute film that takes us into Kentridge’s private animation studio to the musical accompaniment on stage, the subsequent chamber opera Waiting for the Sibyl retells the prophecies of the priestess. Sayings and poems have been translated into four Bantu languages. For their singing and stage play, the nine singers and dancers draw on local mythologies and storytelling traditions. Together with the large-scale projections and shadow plays on the hand-painted backdrop, they create a meditation on how life and fate are connected.
Concept, direction William Kentridge Choral composition, Associate direction Nhlanhla Mahlangu Composition, Musical direction Kyle Shepherd Editing, Compositing Žana Marović Costumes Greta Goiris Set design Sabine Theunissen Light design Urs Schönebaum Light design associate Elena Gui Sound engineering Gavan Eckhart Cinematography Duško Marović Video control Kim Gunning By and with Kyle Shepherd, Nhlanhla Mahlangu, Xolisile Bongwana, Thulani Chauke, Teresa Phuti Mojela, Thandazile ‘Sonia’ Radebe, Ayanda Nhlangothi, Zandile Hlatshwayo, Siphiwe Nkabinde, S’busiso Shozi
A commission by Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, Dramaten (Stockholm) Production THE OFFICE performing arts + film International Representation Quaternaire (Paris)
Premiere September 2019, Teatro dell'Opera di Roma
Wiener Festwochen 2014 Winterreise