The Night’s Tale: A Tournament of Love


The Night’s Tale, A Tournament of Love

In this astonishing music-theater production, we witness a day of tournaments and a night of love games in a medieval French castle, re-enacted through a constant flow of magnificent song and action.

Chauvency  TournoiOur singers and players incarnate the age-old rites of striving and sexual attraction: The virile jousts take place in light of day, but as night falls, both men and women succumb to the temptations of love. Throughout, both day and night, the frontiers of desire are in constant flux; music of combat and competition alternates with songs of yearning and tenderness.

The Night’s Tale, as staged and directed by Artistic Director Anne Azéma, is not a decorous concert of “early music.” It’s a theater piece, with lights, movement, gesture, and lively interaction among the cast members. The Boston Globe called it “something hot — raucous, gleeful, impulsive, rowdy.” A leading French critic says that “it may well alter the way we look at the Middle Ages.”

Night's Tale 2007 ladiesRe-enacting this medieval tale for our own day, Camerata’s musicians are joined by gifted young professionals from the Longy School of Music of Bard College in an intense, musical evocation of longing and fulfillment. Special lighting effects have been created by Peter Torpey of the MIT Media Lab. All the 13th-century songs and instrumental pieces have been edited from original sources by Anne Azéma, who also created the scenario based on an authentic medieval narration by Jean Bretel.

Anne Azéma, director, mezzo-soprano, hurdy-gurdy

Shira Kammen – vielle, harp

Clare McNamara, mezzo-soprano

Joel Nesvadba, baritone

Camila Parias, soprano

Jordan Weatherston Pitts, tenor

with Joel Cohen, narrator

Produced in partnership with Longy School of Music of Bard College.


Chauvency Robardel