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Iphigenia by Wayne Shorter with Esperanza Spalding

Author: Auditorium Films

Iphigenia is not an adaptation of the Greek myth as much as it is an intervention into mythmaking itself, and into music and opera as we know it.

  • Iphigenia, A New Opera | Copyright: © Real Magic

    Iphigenia, A New Opera © Real Magic

  • Esperanza Spalding | Copyright: © Real Magic

    Esperanza Spalding © Real Magic

  • Wayne Shorter | Copyright: © Real Magic

    Wayne Shorter © Real Magic

Classical and jazz forms collide in a full orchestral score that features Shorter’s groundbreaking method of symphonic improvisation, with his venerated quartet at the center. Spalding's libretto is deeply poetic and then suddenly radical – Iphigenia is multiplied, her identity is fractured and shared, until the stage is occupied by a chorus of her.

Iphigenia was born to be sacrificed - or so the Greek myth would have us believe, but what if she contests her fate? What if the winds don’t blow and the sails hang limp in the sea air? Iphigenia stares down the history of opera and makes some demands on its future: No more tragic women singing through suicide and going mad in perfect pitch. No more spectacles of women dead and dying. In the end, Shorter and Spalding turn their gaze outward beyond the stage: What will we make, they ask, at this precise moment in our collective present when we are so desperately in need of new visions for the world.

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