Waiting for the Sibyl – William Kentridge

The text in this book is essentially the libretto of the chamber opera Waiting for the Sibyl, which was made for the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma and first performed there in September 2019. Music for the opera was composed by Nhlanhla Mahlangu and Kyle Shepherd. The images and phrases were projected on different size screens in the opera, sometimes in sync with the sung text, sometimes independent of any sung text. In the opera production, the right-hand page generally had text, and the left-hand page had a mixture of drawings and the shadow of a dancer on stage cast onto the projection surface. In this book there are more and different drawings than are used in the opera. This book is compiled and published in the time of the covid-19 pandemic, a time in which it is not possible to perform the opera live. The project is undertaken in anticipation of the time when the opera can be seen in its full form again.

By William Kentridge, edited by Anne McIlleron.