Please arrive early as there is no late seating and please note that there is no re-seating if you need to exit the theater.


the whisper opera, with words and music by Pulitzer Prize-winner David Lang and direction and design by Jim Findlay, is performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) with the musicians, singer, and audience enclosed in an intimate onstage set, and is performed almost entirely in whispers. Lang explores the question: “what if a piece were so quiet and so personal to the performers that you needed to be right next them or you would hear almost nothing. The only way this piece can be received is if you are there, in person, listening very closely.”

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The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) is an artist collective committed to transforming the way music is created and experienced. ICE explores how new music intersects with communities across the world. The ensemble’s 35 members are featured as soloists, chamber musicians, commissioners, and collaborators with the foremost musical artists of our time. The group currently serves as artists in residence at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts’ Mostly Mozart Festival, and previously led a five-year residency at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Skirball Sounds Season Sponsor.

Additional funding provided by The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Inc.

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David Lang/ICE: the whisper opera
David Lang/ICE: the whisper opera
David Lang/ICE: the whisper opera

Go Beyond

David Lang on “the whisper opera”

“the whisper opera” is a mysterious little alternative world.