november, 2021

This is a repeating event

05nov8:00 PM10:00 PMWAYNE SHORTER & ESPERANZA SPALDING: IPHIGENIA8PM | MASS MoCA Club B108:00 PM - 10:00 PM 1040 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams, MA 01247


Event Details


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In Iphigenia, two of the most visionary and daring musical voices of our time—composer Wayne Shorter and librettist and performer esperanza spalding—have created a modern operatic re-imagining of the ancient tale of a daughter sacrificed to the gods. Against a set designed by luminary architect Frank Gehry, classical and jazz forms collide in a full orchestral score, while a deeply poetic and radical libretto sees Iphigenia herself multiply and stare down opera’s history. Shorter and spalding’s Iphigenia is not so much an adaptation as an intervention into myth-making, music, and opera as we know it.

These preview performances will take place following a two-week residency at MASS MoCA, before Iphigenia debuts as a traveling operatic performance.

Nine vocalists, including spalding, will lead a local 10-person chorus and chamber orchestra, accompanied by Brian Blade, John Patitucci, and Danilo Pérez from the Wayne Shorter Quartet, and Jeff “Tain” Watts. The production is directed by Obie Award-winner Lileana Blain-Cruz, and conducted by Clark Rundell with scenic design by Frank Gehry, costume design by Montana Levi Blanco, lighting design by Jen Schriever, and sound design by Mark Grey. A cappella vocal arrangements are by Caroline Shaw, and additional text by Joy Harjo, Safiya Sinclair, and Ganavya Doraiswamy. Iphigenia is produced by Jeff Tang (Executive Creative Producer), Cath Brittan (Producer), and Mara Isaacs (Octopus Theatricals, Tour Producer). The opera is made possible by Real Magic, a company created by spalding and Tang, to develop Iphigenia in an environment of radical experimentation and open collaboration.

Iphigenia is co-commissioned by Cal Performances at the University of California, Berkeley; The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, DC); The Broad Stage (Los Angeles), ArtsEmerson (Boston); Carolina Performing Arts (Chapel Hill, NC); and MASS MoCA (North Adams, MA).

“Wayne Shorter is one of the few jazz musicians who can without a doubt be called a living legend” — NPR

“In the years since her breakout GRAMMY win…esperanza spalding has emerged as a vessel for boundless creativity and experimentalism” — Pitchfork

Make a Plan

  • Preferred ticket-holders get the best seat in the house and museum admission on the day of or after the event.
  • This performance will take place inside MASS MoCA’s Club B10.
  • Masks are required for all indoor spaces, except while eating and drinking, regardless of vaccination status.
  • No outside food or beverages will be allowed in the venue during the event. Small bites and drinks are available for purchase before the show from our museum cafe, Lickety Split.
  • Please note: museum admission is not included with your event ticket unless indicated. Purchase museum admission here.
  • All events at MASS MoCA are accessible to all audiences. Please contact [email protected] if you would like to inquire about accessibility needs and services.
  • By purchasing a ticket to join MASS MoCA’s visitors, staff, and artists on the museum campus, you agree to follow a Courtesy Code, detailed here. Our full COVID FAQ is here.


(Friday) 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM



1040 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams, MA 01247