An improvised opera based on an ancient story, sung in a universal language beyond words. BOBBLE is not just a new opera; it’s an entirely new perspective on opera. That’s just what you might expect from Bobby McFerrin. Bobby has always been a great singer, reaching for new heights of beauty and virtuosity, new depths of meaning. But he is also a restless artistic spirit whose creativity knows no bounds, a ceaseless innovator. His latest adventure, BOBBLE, allows Bobby McFerrin to collaborate with other virtuosic singers, each with a unique cultural perspective, embracing a kaleidoscope of traditions and influences. Together the performers re-enact the ancient, archetypal and classically operatic tale of the Tower of Babel, dramatizing the story in wordless song, expressing emotions and predicaments that can be understood across all barriers of language and culture.
Bobby McFerrin creates the score of BOBBLE live on stage nightly, creating poignant drama and gorgeous harmony. The music is completely different every time. His astonishing vocal technique, childlike wonder, spirit of adventure, seriousness and play all come together in these uniquely joyous performances. Borrowing from different worlds and honoring no boundaries, Bobby invents new and inclusive vocabularies, styles and contexts. BOBBLE showcases Bobby McFerrin’s gifts: he sings, he composes, he conducts, he catalyzes and inspires the ensemble and the audience, inviting all to join him on a creative journey.
Each production of BOBBLE brings together singers and assisting artists (dancers, instrumental musicians, designers) from a variety of cultural perspectives for a three-day workshop/rehearsal period. Working from a structural frame and plot outline developed by Bobby McFerrin, director Tandy Beal, and producer Linda Goldstein, the cast explores the timeless story of pride and its consequences. The ensemble brings together artists who embody cultural influences and musical traditions from around the world, reflecting the immigrant and international melting pot of our current society (previous cast members have included representatives of the Afro-Cuban, Tuvan, Western and Japanese operatic, Romany, beatboxing, and Indian classical traditions, to name just a few). As we stage BOBBLE in venues around the world, we spark relationships and collaborations between artists and communities, and deepen audience’s appreciation of the infinite possibilities of vocal music.
BOBBLE is based on the plight of the inhabitants of Babel, a city in the territory presently known as Iraq. They all spoke the same language, and together they developed an overwhelming ambition to make a name for themselves. They decided to build a great tower reaching into the heavens. God feared their hunger could never be satisfied, that their quest for power would end in disaster. So God took away their ability to communicate with one another, giving them different languages and scattering them to the corners of the earth.