Daniel: A Medieval Masterpiece Revisited
The Ludus Danielis, or Play of Daniel, is a powerful medieval mystery play composed eight centuries ago in Beauvais, France. Under Anne Azéma's direction (music and staging), our ambitious production will combine old and new, bringing together music and movement, theater and liturgy, light and shadow, to retell the biblical story of the young prophet for today's audiences.
A translation of the play can be downloaded here.
in order of appearance:
- Anne Azéma - Narrator
- Jason McStoots – Belshazzar, King of Irak; Noble
- Donald Wilkinson &ndash Habbakkukk
- Camila Parias – Queen, Angel
- Jordan Pitts – Daniel, a young hero and prophet
- Joel Frederiksen – Darius, king from Persia
- Michael Barrett – Legate, Satrap, Noble
- Daniel Hershey – Legate, Satrap, Noble
- Lawson Daves - Legate, Satrap, Noble
- Trinity Choristers and Boston City Singers – Young clerks of Beauvais
- Students from the Longy School of Music of Bard College – Magi, Queens, Nobles
- Shira Kammen - vielle, harp
- Karim Nagi - percussion
- Indrany Datta-Barua - dancer
- Peter Torpey - Light and Media
The performers' dress for "Daniel" will reflect Anne Azéma's new-in-old scenic approach. She will utilize liturgical vestments to link the work to the past, but also more contemporary styles and accents to underscore the timelessness and universality of the play's message.
We are thrilled to present The Play of Daniel in the superb acoustics of Boston’s historic Trinity Church. H. H. Richardson built Trinity as the home and pulpit of the great orator Phillip Brooks, and delivered a space where everyone in the audience could hear each word with clarity and impact. By great good fortune the church has not been acoustically renovated, and the acoustics are as good as ever. The high ceiling and distant walls eliminate the early reflections that muddy the sound in so many other venues, and the comfortable sound-absorbing pew cushions keep the reverberation time at about 3 seconds, an ideal value for such a large space. We tested the acoustics when the church was empty and found that speech and song had clarity and presence over almost all the audience area. Come and hear for yourself how fantastic a live, un-amplified performance can be in an ideal acoustic space!
A Mississippi native, baritone Lawson Daves received a BM in vocal performance from the University of Alabama and an MM in early music performance from the Longy School of Music of Bard College. Mr. Daves enjoys a varied performing career including opera, oratorio, musical theatre, and chamber music. Recent highlights include the world premiere of the opera Sleeping Beauty and A Hand of Bridge with the Nahant Music Festival; The Play of Daniel and the medieval Carmina Burana with the Boston Camerata; and The Old Maid and the Thief and Dido and Aeneas, both at the Longy School of Music of Bard College. Mr. Daves is also an educator, having served on the voice faculties of the Community Music School of the University of Alabama and the EKS Music School in Quincy, teaching voice, musical theatre, historical performance and music theory.
Boston City Singers
Founded in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood in 1995, Boston City Singers is a family of 500 strong young musicians ages 4 – 18, residing in 30 cities, towns and neighborhoods, attending 137 schools, and representing 40 different countries. They know that through learning and performing together lives are changed, voices found, barriers lowered and communities united. Our OperaKids Program trains members of all ages to perform in a variety of productions. They have participated in operas presented by The Boston Conservatory, Boston Opera, Boston University, The Trinity Choristers, Odyssey Opera and The Boston Camerata. An additional operatic performance is scheduled with a dozen members of OperaKids for March 12 with the Cecilia Chorus of New York. For additional information, please visit bostoncitysingers.org. New members are accepted throughout the year.