The Getty Villa

New commissions by some of LA's most respected theater artists, who creatively connect classical texts to contemporary narratives.

Fourlarks, a Los Angeles-based performance troupe, returns to the Getty Villa in January to present their Villa Premiere Presentation, katabasis. Due to disruptions related to the Woolsey fire in Malibu last month, the Getty Villa was closed for two weeks and performances of katabasis were canceled. The Getty Villa has rescheduled the production for January 24, 25, & 26 at 7:30 p.m.

Parking is $10 after 6:00 p.m.

Premiere Presentation: katabasis


Date: Thursday–Saturday, January 24–26, 2019
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: Villa
Admission: Ticket required; $30.

katabasis ('descent to the underworld') is a site-specific live music performance work that is part immersive concert and part ritual theater. Staged outside for an intimate audience, katabasis unfurls across the grounds and gardens of the Getty Villa in a walking procession that is structured as a participatory Orphic mystery rite.

A performative companion piece to the Villa exhibition Underworld: Imagining the Afterlife, katabasis features a cult of musical performers who guide a small audience of initiates around the grounds of the museum, where they encounter characters and visual motifs from the exhibition, commune with ancient beliefs, and procure blessings for this life and what lies beyond. Fourlarks' future-folk score is inspired by ancient modes and rhythms, reimagined through a kaleidoscope of world folk and art pop.

Please be advised that this performances is a walking procession throughout the outdoor grounds of the Getty Villa. There is no seating provided and we ask that you wear warm clothing and comfortable shoes.


Sheila Brown Ellis
Maya Gingery (Flute)
Yvette Cornelia Holzwarth (Violin)
Sharon Chohi Kim
Jett Kwong (Guzheng)
Matt Orenstein (Bass)
Lukas Papenfusscline
Ryan Parrish (Kaval / Saxophone)
Zachary Carlisle Sanders
Titus Tompkins (Banjo)
James Vitz-Wong (Bass)
James Waterman (Percussion)
Eli Weinberg

Soloist- Lukas Papenfusscline
An invitation to cross the threshold; to seek blessings from Persephone and find what has been lost.

2 MOIRAI (Fates)
Soloist- Jett Kwong
Three sisters, the Fates: Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos, determine the destiny of Gods and mortals alike, as they spin and cut the threads of life.

Soloist-Zachary Carlisle Sanders (Charon)
Charon the boatman ferries the dead across the river, charging the dead a gold coin for passage.

Soloist- Yvette Cornelia Holzwarth
Beasts await on the other side of the river Styx.

Soloists- Lukas Papenfusscline, Titus Tompkins and Zachary Carlisle Sanders (Cerberus)
A three-headed hound guards the gate, permitting only the righteous.

Soloist- Sheila Brown Ellis (Goddess of the River)
The goddess of the river Lethe entices the newly arrived dead to drink from the river and thereby abandon their memory and earthly consciousness to become shades.We next proceed into Tartarus, where the most exceptional sinners face eternal torment.

Soloists- Sharon Chohi Kim (Tantalus) & Lukas Papenfusscline (his grapes)
Tantalus eternally reaches for his grapes, but they remain ever out of his grasp.

Movement- Titus Tompkins (Tityos), Eli Weinberg and Zachary Carlisle Sanders (Vultures)
Tityos' liver is eaten by vultures, but every morning it regenerates only to be devoured again at night.

Soloists- Maya Gingery, Jett Kwong, and Sharon Chohi Kim (Danaids)
The daughters of Danaus are tasked to fill a leaking vessel using only sieves.

Soloist- Eli Weinberg (Sisyphus), Titus Tompkins and Yvette Cornelia Holzwarth
Sisyphus labors to perch his boulder atop a mountain, but it will always roll back down again after reaching the top.

Soloists- Sharon Chohi Kim, Lukas Papenfusscline, and Jett Kwong (Judges)
Triptolemos, Aiakos, and Rhadamanthys weigh our souls to permit entrance into Elysium and meet Persephone.

Soloists- Sheila Brown Ellis (Persephone) with Lukas Papenfusscline
Persephone rules the kingdom of the dead, but is reborn to the living world each spring.

About fourlarks
Fourlarks is an Ovation Award winning L.A.-based performance company led by composer/director Mat Sweeney and creative producer Sebastian Peters-Lazaro. Their work combines acoustic music, site-based installation, and physical theatre. More info at

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How to Get Here
The Getty Villa is located at 17985 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, California, approximately 25 miles west of downtown Los Angeles. See Hours, Directions, Parking for directions and parking information.