“At first glance, the one predictable thing about Du Yun is her unpredictability. Dig deeper … you can sense the conjoined strands of curiosity and compassion that run through everything she makes.” The New Yorker


In continuing to shift and disrupt the operatic field, Du Yun has created two new staged versions of A Cockroach’s Tarantella and Zolle with director Roscha A. Säidow and in collaboration with the International Contemporary Ensemble and Satomi Matsuzaki (of Deefhoof). This version of the evening-length diptych is a reworking by Du Yun and Roscha A. Säidow of the Lucerne Theater production (October 2021) specifically for the Skirball stage.

Scored for a chamber ensemble, voice, and spoken word, with Du Yun as the narrator and featuring Satomi Matsuzaki, the two works together explore humankind’s ubiquitous fascination with movement and alienation, amidst the hope of belonging.

In Zolle, a staged performance, a dead woman wanders through the shadowy space on the border between memory and reality, tracing the lines of her identity through the land she once walked – an immigrant in death as in life. A Cockroach’s Tarantella explores the corporality, human desire, religion, and belonging as the essential quest and the existential dread that all sentient beings experience, cockroach or not.


Du Yun, born and raised in Shanghai, China and currently based in New York City, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, multi-instrumentalist, performance artist, activist, and curator for new music, who works at the intersection of orchestral, opera, chamber music, theatre, cabaret, musical theater, oral tradition, public performances, sound installation, electronics, visual arts, and noise. channelduyun.com

The International Contemporary Ensemble strives to cultivate a mosaic musical ecosystem that honors the diversity of human experience and expression by commissioning, developing, and performing the works of living artists. The Ensemble is a collective of musicians, digital media artists, producers, and educators who are committed to creating collaborations built on equity, belonging, and cultural responsiveness. Now in its third decade, the Ensemble continues to build new digital and live collaborative environments that strengthen artist agency and musical connections around the world. iceorg.org


We love the exploration of borders and shining a spotlight on immigrant experiences.
We love a Kafka reference – come and hear a new interlocutor for insectile existentialism as a lens into a more human experience.
Du Yun & ICE keep on winning, with international accolades – come see these prize-winners bringing their unique brilliances to this collaboration.


  • Audience members must be 12 years of age or older to enter the theater.
  • Audience members must show a valid government-issued photo ID.
  • All audience members must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and receive a COVID-19 booster shot (if eligible for the booster based on CDC criteria). Documentation must include name, birthday, dates of doses & vaccine manufacturer. Documentation must be in English.
  • All audience members will be required to show proof of being fully vaccinated and boosted (if eligible), with an FDA-authorized or WHO-listed vaccine.
  •  All audience members must wear a well-fitted mask at all times.
    Allowable masks: disposable masks (surgical or medical procedure masks), KN95 masks, KF94 masks, N95 masks are allowable.

Read our full health and safety policies & FAQs here.

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Du Yun, composer, text, sound design, narrator/voice
Satomi Matsuzaki, voice/narrator
Roscha A. Säidow, Director, Costume Designer, Video
eddy kwon, Assistant Director
Kamna Gupta, conductor
Nicholas Houfek, light designer
Randi Rivera, Rehearsal Stage Manager
Žilvinas Jonušas, Props Master
Ross Karre, production coordinator and video projection technician

A Cockroach’s Tarantella (2010)
Du Yun, voice, sound design
Josh Modney, violin
Pauline Harris, violin
Hannah Levinson, viola
Mariel Roberts, cello
Kamna Gupta, conductor

Zolle (2005)
Du Yun, The Wander Woman Ghost (Narrator/Voice)*
Satomi Matsuzaki, The Same Wander Woman Ghost (Voice/Narrator)*
eddy kwon, The Land-Watcher
Ziad Nehme, The Land-Watcher (Recorded Tenor)
Alice Teyssier, flute
Ryan Muncy, saxophone
Nathan Davis, percussion
Josh Modney, violin
Hannah Levinson, viola
Mariel Roberts, cello
Kamna Gupta, conductor
*The Narrator and the Female Voice are of the same character


Experimental Humanities & Social Engagement, Steinhardt Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions, Tisch Art & Public Policy


This presentation is made possible with the support of the Aaron Copland Fund for Music.
The Aaron Copeland Fund for Music

NYU Skirball’s programs are made possible with support from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, and by Howard Gilman Foundation, Collins Building Services, Consolidated Edison, Harkness Foundation for Dance, DuBose & Dorothy Heyward Memorial Fund, New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, and Marta Heflin Foundation, as well as our valued donors through memberships and commissioning fund support.

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Zolle1_CMYK_100dpi_Credit_Copyright_Roscha Saidow (2)
Photo by Roscha A. Säidow
Photo by Ingo Hoehn from the Lucerne Theater production (October 2021)
Photo by Ingo Hoehn from the Lucerne Theater production (October 2021)
LT_Tarantella©Ingo Hoehn-9103-Bearbeitet
Photo by Ingo Hoehn from the Lucerne Theater production (October 2021)
Photo by Ingo Hoehn from the Lucerne Theater production (October 2021)
Spring2022 media slider - Du Yun Ice -Du-Yun_Photo-Cred-Zhen-Qin_-Makeup-Nina-Carelli.jpgN_-1400x932 (1)
Photo by Zhen Qin
Spring2022 media slider - Du Yun Ice -International Contemporary Ensemble_Credit_ Digitice Media Team
International Contemporary Ensemble