WAYNE SHORTER

ESPERANZA SPALDING

a new opera

musicWAYNE SHORTERlibretto and performeresperanza spaldingdirectorLileana Blain-Cruz ConductorClark RundellScenic DesignFrank GehryProducersReal Magic (Jeff Tang + Esperanza Spalding), Cath Brittan&Octopus Theatricals (Mara Isaacs)

ABOUT

CO-COMMISSIONERS

Cal Performances at the University of California, Berkeley
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
ArtsEmerson, Boston
Carolina Performing Arts

Iphigenia, with music by Wayne Shorter and libretto by Esperanza Spalding, debased on the plays by Euripides, is a modern operatic re-imagining of a powerful ancient story, by two of the most visionary and daring musical voices of our time.

Shorter’s groundbreaking method of symphonic improvisation and Spalding’s vibrant, inventive libretto come to life on a set designed by architect Frank Gehry. Euripides’ tale is transposed onto a contemporary world, where our modern-day Iphigenia, embodied by Spalding, must risk everything in order to break the pattern of being held captive to the stories—stories about race, gender, and relationships—we’ve been told can never change. Audiences will never experience the same show twice.

Iphigenia, is an independent non-profit production currently in development and planning to premiere in Spring 2021. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation here.

KEY

DATES

December 2018Music Developmental Workshop · Los Angeles
June 2019Workshop #1 · Los Angeles
September 2019Workshop #2 · The Kennedy Center, Washington, DC
JANUARY - APRIL 2020Opera Lab Seminar · Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
SUMMER 2020Workshop #3 · Los Angeles
FALL 2020Design Phase
SPRING 2021Rehearsals · MassMoCA
Tech and Previews · ArtsEmerson, Boston
TBC Premiere and tour to Cal Performances at the University of California Berkeley, and Carolina Performing Arts
DECEMBER 2021The Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C.
DECEMBER 2021 +Tour Engagements

CREATIVE TEAM

WAYNE

SHORTER

COMPOSER

“The greatest living composer in jazz, and one of its greatest saxophonists,” (The New York Times) Wayne Shorter has left an indelible mark on the development of music for the last half-century. He first rose to prominence in the late 1950’s as the primary composer for Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. He next joined the Miles Davis Quintet becoming what Davis referred to as the ensemble’s “intellectual musical catalyst” before co- founding the pioneering group Weather Report. Since 2001, he has led his own highly acclaimed, Grammy Award-winning Wayne Shorter Quartet.

His works have been performed by the Chicago Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Lyon Symphony, National Polish Radio Symphonic Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Prague Philharmonic and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and soprano Reneé Fleming. Mr. Shorter has realized over 200 compositions, dozens of which have become modern standards. His many accolades include 11 Grammy Awards and a 2018 Kennedy Center Honor.

The most revered
compositional voice in
contemporary jazz.
- NEW YORK TIMES

“The greatest living composer in jazz, and one of its greatest saxophonists,” (The New York Times) Wayne Shorter has left an indelible mark on the development of music for the last half-century. He first rose to prominence in the late 1950’s as the primary composer for Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. He next joined the Miles Davis Quintet becoming what Davis referred to as the ensemble’s “intellectual musical catalyst” before co- founding the pioneering group Weather Report. Since 2001, he has led his own highly acclaimed, Grammy Award-winning Wayne Shorter Quartet.

His works have been performed by the Chicago Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Lyon Symphony, National Polish Radio Symphonic Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Prague Philharmonic and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and soprano Reneé Fleming. Mr. Shorter has realized over 200 compositions, dozens of which have become modern standards. His many accolades include 11 Grammy Awards and a 2018 Kennedy Center Honor.

ESPERANZA

SPALDING

LIBRETTO + PERFORMER

esperanza spalding aims to ignite and portray various hues of vital human energies through composition, singing, bass playing and live performance, with the intention of offering these sound-energies as an aide for connecting with latent portals of unity consciousness and health. She has aptly named her musical style “what it is”. A lover of all music, especially improvisation-based musics emerging from black American culture, and a fledgling devotee of/to their unique liberatory powers, esperanza’s musical aesthetic is prismatic.

She is currently exploring music as healing technology, and how principles of receptive formlessness and fecundity may be expressed and embodied through sound/song based performance.

Ample archives of accolades and commentary relating to esperanza’s previous works may be found through an internet search.

steeped in jazz and
classical but bounded
by neither, [Spalding] is
well over a decade into
one of the most
fruitful and
strikingly original
     CAREERS
- ROLLING STONE
steeped in jazz and classical
but bounded by neither,
[Spalding] is well over
a decade into one of the
most fruitful and strikingly
original careers
- ROLLING STONE

esperanza spalding aims to ignite and portray various hues of vital human energies through composition, singing, bass playing and live performance, with the intention of offering these sound-energies as an aide for connecting with latent portals of unity consciousness and health. She has aptly named her musical style “what it is”. A lover of all music, especially improvisation-based musics emerging from black American culture, and a fledgling devotee of/to their unique liberatory powers, esperanza’s musical aesthetic is prismatic.

She is currently exploring music as healing technology, and how principles of receptive formlessness and fecundity may be expressed and embodied through sound/song based performance.

Ample archives of accolades and commentary relating to esperanza’s previous works may be found through an internet search.

Lileana

Blain-Cruz

DIRECTOR

Lileana Blain-Cruz is a director from New York City and Miami. She is a recent recipient of a New York Theatre Workshop 2050 Fellowship and a 2017 Obie Award for directing The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World at Signature Theatre. Recent Projects: Anatomy of a Suicide (Atlantic Theater Company), Fefu and Her Friends (TFANA); Girls (Yale Repertory Theater); Marys Seacole (LCT3, Obie Award); Faust (Opera Omaha); Fabulation, Or the Reeducation of Undine (Signature Theatre); Thunderbodies and Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again (Soho Rep.); The House That Will Not Stand and Red Speedo (New York Theatre Workshop); Water by the Spoonful (Mark Taper Forum/CTG); Pipeline (Lincoln Center); The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World (Signature Theatre, Obie Award); Henry IV, Part One and Much Ado About Nothing (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); The Bluest Eye (The Guthrie); War (LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater and Yale Rep.); Salome (JACK); Hollow Roots (the Under the Radar Festival at The Public Theater). She was recently named a 2018 United States Artists Fellow and a 2020 Lincoln Center Emerging Artist. She received her MFA in directing from the Yale School of Drama. Upcoming projects include Dreaming Zenzile at St. Louis Rep and McCarter Theater.

Lileana Blain-Cruz is a director from New York City and Miami. She is a recent recipient of a New York Theatre Workshop 2050 Fellowship and a 2017 Obie Award for directing The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World at Signature Theatre. Recent Projects: Anatomy of a Suicide (Atlantic Theater Company), Fefu and Her Friends (TFANA); Girls (Yale Repertory Theater); Marys Seacole (LCT3, Obie Award); Faust (Opera Omaha); Fabulation, Or the Reeducation of Undine (Signature Theatre); Thunderbodies and Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again (Soho Rep.); The House That Will Not Stand and Red Speedo (New York Theatre Workshop); Water by the Spoonful (Mark Taper Forum/CTG); Pipeline (Lincoln Center); The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World (Signature Theatre, Obie Award); Henry IV, Part One and Much Ado About Nothing (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); The Bluest Eye (The Guthrie); War (LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater and Yale Rep.); Salome (JACK); Hollow Roots (the Under the Radar Festival at The Public Theater). She was recently named a 2018 United States Artists Fellow and a 2020 Lincoln Center Emerging Artist. She received her MFA in directing from the Yale School of Drama. Upcoming projects include Dreaming Zenzile at St. Louis Rep and McCarter Theater.

Clark

Rundell

Conductor

Renowned for his command of the most intricate and demanding of works, Clark Rundell has established himself as a highly sought-after guest conductor. He works regularly with orchestras and ensembles including all of the BBC orchestras, Britten Sinfonia, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Ensemble 10/10, and Asko Schoenberg. His conducting in the opera house has included premiere performances of James MacMillan’s opera Clemency at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and Orlando Gough’s Voices & Votes at the Bergen International Festival.

Deeply committed to the performance of new music and a specialist in crossgenre collaboration, he has conducted extensive orchestral projects with artists such as Elvis Costello, Wayne Shorter Quartet, Esperanza Spalding, Toumani Diabate, Brad Mehldau, Tim Garland and Gwilym Simcock.

Renowned for his command of the most intricate and demanding of works, Clark Rundell has established himself as a highly sought-after guest conductor. He works regularly with orchestras and ensembles including all of the BBC orchestras, Britten Sinfonia, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Ensemble 10/10, and Asko Schoenberg. His conducting in the opera house has included premiere performances of James MacMillan’s opera Clemency at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and Orlando Gough’s Voices & Votes at the Bergen International Festival.

Deeply committed to the performance of new music and a specialist in crossgenre collaboration, he has conducted extensive orchestral projects with artists such as Elvis Costello, Wayne Shorter Quartet, Esperanza Spalding, Toumani Diabate, Brad Mehldau, Tim Garland and Gwilym Simcock.

Frank

Gehry

Scenic Designer

Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry, “the most important architect of our time,” (Vanity Fair) is known for a distinctive visual vocabulary that reflects both the urban vernacular and his long association with contemporary artists. Some of his most iconic designs include the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain; Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles; the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris; Dancing House in Prague; and 8 Spruce Street in Lower Manhattan.

Gehry’s forays into set design for dance, concert music, and opera extend his unique aesthetic sensibilities to the stage. Designs include Lucinda Childs's 1983 dance Available Light at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, BAM in New York City, and the Theatre de la Ville in Paris; the LA Philharmonic's 2012 production of Mozart's opera Don Giovanni at the Walt Disney Concert Hall; and in 2014, A Pierre Dream, an exploration of the life and career of Pierre Boulez with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Hall.

When [Gehry designs]
a set for an opera
production, you can
    be sure the famed
    architect won't
deliver anything
remotely conventional
     or literalminded.
- LOS ANGELES TIMES
When [Gehry designs] a set
for an opera production,
you can be sure the
famed architect won't
deliver anything remotely
conventional or
literalminded.
- LOS ANGELES TIMES

Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry, “the most important architect of our time,” (Vanity Fair) is known for a distinctive visual vocabulary that reflects both the urban vernacular and his long association with contemporary artists. Some of his most iconic designs include the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain; Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles; the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris; Dancing House in Prague; and 8 Spruce Street in Lower Manhattan.

Gehry’s forays into set design for dance, concert music, and opera extend his unique aesthetic sensibilities to the stage. Designs include Lucinda Childs's 1983 dance Available Light at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, BAM in New York City, and the Theatre de la Ville in Paris; the LA Philharmonic's 2012 production of Mozart's opera Don Giovanni at the Walt Disney Concert Hall; and in 2014, A Pierre Dream, an exploration of the life and career of Pierre Boulez with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Hall.

BRIAN BLADE

DANILO PÉREZ

JOHN PATITUCCI

Core Musicians

Members of the Grammy Award-winning Wayne Shorter Quartet, Brian Blade (drums), Danilo Pérez (piano), and John Patitucci (bass) are masters and bandleaders of their own lauded groups. Together, they form “a band of spellbinding intuition, with an absolute commitment to the spirit of discovery [and] an incalculable influence on the practice of jazz in the 21st century.” (New York Times)

Members of the Grammy Award-winning Wayne Shorter Quartet, Brian Blade (drums), Danilo Pérez (piano), and John Patitucci (bass) are masters and bandleaders of their own lauded groups. Together, they form “a band of spellbinding intuition, with an absolute commitment to the spirit of discovery [and] an incalculable influence on the practice of jazz in the 21st century.” (New York Times)

PRODUCING TEAM

Real Magic

Executive Producer

Formed in 2018 by Creative Producer Jeff Tang (The Metropolitan Opera, National Sawdust) and Grammy Award-winning bassist, composer, and vocalist esperanza spalding, Real Magic challenges the boundaries and expectations of traditional art and performance through the development of bold and courageous new work that embraces risk, dares audiences, and celebrates the capacity of the human spirit.

Cath Brittan

Producer

Cath Brittan is a music, theater, and opera producer and production manager based in California. Originally from Manchester, England, she spent 15 years in Vienna working for the Vienna Festival and freelancing throughout the opera houses of Europe. Since moving to California in 2015 she has worked with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cal Performances, Kronos Quartet, San Francisco Symphony Soundbox, and Peter Sellars. Brittan’s recent productions include Das Paradies und die Peri (LA Philharmonic and Peter Sellars), and Anthony Roth Costanzo’s Glass Handel with Visionaire and Costanzo at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC. Brittan is also the producer for AMOC* (dir Zack Wintour & Matt Aucoin).

Octopus

Theatricals

Tour Producer

Mara Isaacs (Producer) is a Tony® Award winning producer and founder of Octopus Theatricals, an independent company dedicated fostering an expansive range of compelling theatrical works for local, national and international audiences. She has produced over 150 productions that have been seen on Broadway (Hadestown, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Translations, Anna in the Tropics, Electra), off-Broadway (Hadestown, Fiasco Theater’s Into The Woods, The Brother/Sister Plays, Crowns, The Laramie Project), at theaters and performing arts centers around the US and the world (UK, Europe, Middle East, South America, South Africa, Canada). Current projects include Dreaming Zenzile by Somi Kakoma; Detroit Red by Will Power; Voice Over by Lola Arias; Theatre for One; and An Iliad starring Denis O’Hare. She is director of Project Springboard: Developing Dance Musicals, and Artistic Advisor to Fiasco Theater. She is proud to produce the work of Phantom Limb Company, Song of the Goat Theatre and more. She served as Producing Director at McCarter Theater Center in Princeton, NJ for 18 seasons and previously produced new play development programs and productions for Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. www.octopustheatricals.com

Mika Shino

Development & Partnerships Producer

Mika Shino has two decades of experience as a director, producer, writer, strategist, and diplomat for international organizations and firms in the culture sector. Her extensive work in cultural diplomacy and intercultural dialogue led her to establish her own consultancy firm, providing philanthropic and strategic development for a diverse international roster of clients such as Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, the Cartier Foundation and UNICEF, among others. She conceptualized International Jazz Day as Director for the International Jazz Day Program and Global Outreach at the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz. Today, International Jazz Day is the most wide-reaching International Day within the United Nations system with thousands of celebrations across the world.

Real Magic is a fiscally sponsored member of New York Live Arts, Inc., a non-profit tax-exempt organization. Contributions in support of Real Magic’s work are greatly appreciated and may be made payable to New York Live Arts, Inc., earmarked for “the New York Live Arts member project of Real Magic.” A description of the work and current project activities for which such contributions will be used are available from Real Magic or New York Live Arts, upon request. All contributions are fully deductible to the extent allowed by law. (Note: A copy of New York Live Arts’ latest annual financial report filed with the New York State Department of State may be obtained by writing to the N.Y.S. Dept. of State, Charities Registration, 162 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY, 12231, or to New York Live Arts, 219 West 19th Street, New York, NY, 10011)