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William Kentridge SIBYLMusik & komposition: Kyle Shepherd & Nhlanhla Mahlangu

William Kentridge SYBIL (ZA)

Premiär 30–31 oktober 2021, Stora scenen

Biljettsläpp planerat till augusti/september 2021

Premiere 30–31 October 2021, Stora scenen

Ticket release to be announced later

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Sydafrikanske konstnären William Kentridges hyllade musikaliska verk Waiting for the Sibyl gästar Dramaten

Den prisade sydafrikanske konstnären William Kentridges hyllade Waiting for the Sibyl gästar Dramaten. En audiovisuell scenkonstupplevelse, med musik och komposition av Kyle Shepherd och Nhlanhla Mahlangu. Föreställningen ges tillsammans med Kentridges kortfilm The Moment Has Gone.

I den 42 minuter långa föreställningen – en berättelse om vår längtan att komma i kontakt med krafterna som styr våra öden – samspelar tre dansare och sex sångare med projektioner, skuggspel och musik. Verket är inspirerat av myten om Sibyllan i Cumae, ett orakel som nedtecknade frågeställarens öde på ett eklöv, bara för att sedan sammanblanda detta löv med andras öden. Vems öde var det egentligen man läste till slut? När Kentridge nu återskapar myten är vår samtida Sibylla den algoritm som förutser våra liv.

 The Moment Has Gone

En kortfilm med Kentridges kolanimationer om sitt alter ego Soho Eckstein, kombinerat med sekvenser där man får se honom skapa verket. Framförs med levande pianomusik skriven av Kyle Shepherd och en manskör ledd av Nhlanhla Mahlangu. Här återfinns också fraser och idéer som återkommer i Waiting for the Sybil och även Sibyllan själv dyker upp.

SIBYL ingår i årets Bergmanfestival, Dramatens internationella teaterfestival, som med anledning av den rådande pandemin ser annorlunda ut än planerat.

A performance comprised of the 42-minute chamber opera Waiting for the Sibyl and the 22-minute film with live score The Moment Has Gone. 

In Waiting for the Sibyl, Kentridge tells a story about our desire to be more connected to the forces that shape our destiny. The work, which features nine dancers and singers and Kentridge’s signature combination of projection, live performance, recorded music, and shadows cast by live performers on a hand-painted backdrop, is inspired by the myth of the Cumaean prophetess Sibyl. She would write out a questioner’s fate on an oak leaf, only to mix those leaves with the fates of others, leaving you uncertain if you were learning another’s fate your own. In Kentridge’s reimagining of the myth, our contemporary Sibyl is the algorithm that predicts our life’s course. In the action on stage and on giant screens, objects and situations dissolve and reform, and a series of sentences are written down on paper, all elements pointing towards one inescapable question: What is to come?

The Moment Has Gone, which precedes Waiting for the Sibyl, combines sequences of the Kentridge creating the work with the latest in the artist's series of short charcoal animation films featuring his alter ego Soho Eckstein. Presented with a live piano score by Kyle Shepherd and an all male choir led by Nhlanhla Mahlangu, The Moment Has Gone was made at the same time as Waiting for the Sibyl and includes phrases and ideas that reappear in the chamber opera, and an appearance by Sibyl herself. 

Sibyl is part of the international Bergman Theatre Festival which due to the current pandemic has an alternative format.

Bilder från uppsättningen

Additional activities

Performance Lecture: A Natural History of the Studio

Over the last three decades, the visual artist William Kentridge has garnered international acclaim for his work across media including drawing, film, sculpture, printmaking, and theater.  Rendered in stark contrasts of black and white, his images reflect his native South Africa and, like endlessly suggestive shadows, point to something more elemental as well. Art, Kentridge says, is its own form of knowledge. It does not simply supplement the real world, and it cannot be purely understood in the rational terms of traditional academic disciplines.  Drawing has the potential to educate us about the most complex issues of our time. In Kentridge’s inimitable mode, this lecture performance will move from image to word, from artistic practice to philosophical reflection, and back, reviewing the deepest ideas of his work and method. Presented by Dramaten&.

Audience talk – The less good idea

About the importance of viewing failure as a natural part of a creative process, time as function combined with pausing/ reflection/ intuition and about how an artistic process is enriched through interdisciplinary practices such as opera, performance, video and drawing. The talk centres on Kentridge’s project The Centre for the Less Good Idea, and William Kentridge himself will take part. Johan Pousette, director of and curator at Iaspis (currently on leave) will moderate the talk. Presented by Dramaten&.


Creative team

Concept / Director William Kentridge
Choral Composer Nhlanhla Mahlangu
Associate Director Nhlanhla Mahlangu
Composer/ Music Director Kyle Shepherd
Editing / Compositing Žana Marović
Costume Design Greta Goiris
Set Design Sabine Theunissen
Lighting Design Urs Schönebaum
Cinematography Duško Marović

Created and performed by

Kyle Shepherd Piano
Nhlanhla Mahlangu Vocalist/  Dancer           
Xolisile Bongwana Vocalist/ Dancer 
Thulani Chauke Dancer
Teresa Phuti Mojela Dancer
Thandazile 'Sonia' Rabede Dancer
Ayanda Nhlangothi Vocalist
Zandile Hlatshwayo Vocalist
Siphiwe Nkabinde Vocalist
Sbusiso Shozi Vocalist

Sibyl is co-commissioned by Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg and Dramaten, Stockholm. 

 Additional production credits 

Executive Producer

THE OFFICE performing arts + film 
Rachel Chanoff, Laurie Cearley, Lynn Koek, Catherine DeGennaro, Noah Bashevkin, Olli Chanoff, Diane Eber Gabrielle Davenport and Chloe Golding

Toured in partnership with Quaternaire | Sarah Ford, Director