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William Kentridge

A person in a colourful and artistic costume dances, while other performers dance behind him. A projection of pages from a book lights up the back wall.

An evening of two parts as artist William Kentridge brings his visionary practice to stage with a stunning chamber opera and short film with live music, created with fellow South African artists.

The Moment Has Gone is a short film accompanied by a live piano score and a captivating all male South African chorus. It charts the making of City Deep, Kentridge’s latest animated film and incorporates ideas that reappear in Waiting for the Sibyl.

Waiting for the Sibyl is a visually stunning chamber opera with a full company of singers and dancers. It features signature elements of Kentridge’s practice - projection, performance, music and hand-painted backdrops. Sibyl is an ancient Greek priestess, whose readings of fates often ended up in the wrong hands.

William Kentridge is a South African artist best known for his prints, drawings and animated films. This new piece was created in collaboration with acclaimed choral composer and performer Nhlanhla Mahlangu and composer Kyle Shepherd — one of South Africa’s leading progressive pianists.

1 hour, 25 mins with interval
Part one: The Moment Has Gone (film) 22 mins
Part two: Waiting for the Sibyl (opera) 42 mins

Age guidance: 12+

Performed in English, Zulu, Xhosa, Sesotho and Ndebele

Post-show talk with William Kentridge, Sat 23 Apr
Free to same-day ticket holders

Audio-described performance, Sun 24 Apr

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


‘South Africa's leading contemporary artist.‘
Financial Times
‘Kentridge, together with his artistic team has created a work of art in the true sense of the word.‘
Dagens Nyheter (Sweden)


William Kentridge

Waiting for the Sibyl Programme Note

"I was thinking about the theme of fate and our future and the telling of our future, as the Sibyls did." William Kentridge explains the story of the Cumaean Sibyl that inspired this chamber opera.



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Barbican Theatre