Ludus Danielis. “Incipit Danielis Ludus.” ©The British Library, All rights reserved. Egerton MS.2625,fol.95r.
Title of Work: Silos Apocalypse. Author: Beatus of Liebana. Illustrator: Petrus. Production: Spain (Silos), 1109
©The British Library, All rights reserved. ADD. MS 11695, Folio 239.
The Play of Daniel A rarely staged 13th century ‘opera’, based on the legendary tale of the prophet Daniel, first performed by young clerics at Beauvais Cathedral in northern France. The Play, little known to the contemporary audience, is a masterpiece of early music and drama. The premiŹre performance took place at Southwark Cathedral, London, and King’s College Chapel, Cambridge, in January 2007, gaining very positive responses from the audience and the press. The project is still a work in progress, as we plan to remount the performance if sufficient funding can be secured.
Serious Fun! Performed in the New Year as part of the revelry of the Feast of Fools - an opportunity for young clerics to let their hair down in musical and theatrical festivities not normally permitted in church – Ludus Danielis combines hilarious burlesque with the mysteries of Daniel deciphering the Writing on the Wall at Belshazzar’s Feast, escaping the Lions’ Den, and finally prophesying the coming of the Messiah. The spontaneous music-making in the performance adds to the exuberant spirit of a communal celebration. More on Serious Fun
The Music Andrew Lawrence-King, acclaimed performer and conductor of early music, leads an ensemble of 8 singers and 6 instrumentalists, himself playing psaltery, medieval harp and synfonie. Vielles, ud, cornetto, shawm, pipes, drums and bells are also heard. The musicians of The Harp Consort form the core of the performers.
The manuscript that preserves Ludus Danielis (see above) consists of a single line of notation with the text, without reference to rhythm or tempi. Performing the play today therefore requires interpreting and transcribing the original minimalist notation. Lawrence-King sees the dedicated irreverence of Daniel as a metaphor for the basic paradox of performing early music, which demands that musicians exercise the freedom to improvise within the ordo of authenticity. Thus, taking the original single melodic line, he invites his musicians, well versed in early music, to embellish it spontaneously through ensemble improvisation.
With this approach each Daniel performance becomes a unique live musical event. The acclaimed 1998 recording of Ludus Danielis by The Harp Consort directed by Lawrence-King, attests to the success of this improvisational approach. Listen to Daniel Music Samples
THE HARP CONSORT
JULIAN PODGER as Daniel, tenor
PETER HARVEY as King Belshazzar, baritone
CLARA SANABRAS as The Queen, soprano; ud
IAN HONEYMAN as King Darius, tenor
SIMON GRANT as Habakkuk, bass
HARVY BROUGH as Wise Man, tenor; psaltery
HANNA JÄRVELÄINEN as Chorister, mezzo-soprano
NICOLE JORDAN as Angel, soprano
JOHN MCMUNN as Conspirator, tenor
SUSANNE ANSORG vielles
IAN HARRISON vielle, cornetto, shawm, pipes; tenor
STEVE PLAYER citoles, drums, drone pipes
MICHAEL METZLER percussion, bells
ANDREW LAWRENCE-KING musical direction
medieval harp, psaltery, synfonie
AKEMI HORIE stage direction
ANABEL TEMPLE designs
NEIL FRASER lighting
Synopsis of the Play Synopsis
Parallel Text in Latin & English Full Text
Review of the premiŹre performance by Michael Church of The Independent (5 stars)
“Southwark Cathedral forms a stage-set beyond compare, while on a dais in the middle of the chancel stands an elongated red-laquer chair, like a ladder to heaven… As a musical event, this would charm the birds off the trees... a beguiling blend of conviction and joie de vivre, plus a uniquely deft mix of medieval musical sounds... the modal music that results creates a wonderfully dreamy ambiance.”
Musical Director Andrew Lawrence-King
The Harp Consort www.harmoniamundi.com/uk/artistes_fiche.php?artist_id=1805
Producer/Director Akemi Horie: www.ahorie.net
PremiŹre Performances: When & Where
Southwark Cathedral, London, SE1 (tube: London Bridge)
Wednesday 17 & Thursday 18 January 2007 at 8pm
Tickets: Barbican Box Office: www.barbican.org.uk/eticketing
(reduced booking fee online); 0207 638 8891 (booking fee)
£30-£10 (restricted view); conc. £12
Friday 19 January 2007 at 8pm
Andrew Lawrence-King is a baroque-harp virtuoso and imaginative continuo-player, recognised as one of the world’s leading performers of early music. A creative and inspiring conductor who directs from the continuo, he has led operas and oratorios at La Scala, Milan; Sydney Opera House; Casals Hall, Tokyo; Berlin Philharmonie; New York’s Canergie Hall; and Mexico City’s Palacio de Bellas Artes. In 1994 Andrew Lawrence-King formed The Harp Consort, with whom he has made an award winning series of CDs, from medieval pop-songs to South American dances and baroque operas. A keen sailor, Andrew holds the Royal Yachting Association’s coveted Ocean Yachtmaster certificate, and spends most of his free time aboard his boat, ‘Continuo’. www.goldbergweb.com/en/interpreters/conductors/8206.php
Akemi Horie was trained and worked in film and theatre as actor and director in Japan and the USA. She studied with Jan Kott at Berkeley and did extensive research on the folk ritual origins of the theatre. In 1989 she formed the intercultural theatre laboratory Workshop 5, aiming to generate a meeting of east and west, knowledge and imagination, research and art. She has pioneered innovative works interpreting the medieval Noh dramaturgy in contemporary theatrical terms, relating it to the works of such modern writers as W.B. Yeats and Samuel Beckett. Her varied background in music and theatre is reflected in the wide range of plays she has directed, from Aeschylus, Kan’ami, Ibsen and Chekhov to Lorca, Mrozek and Beckett. www.ahorie.net
The Harp Consort is an ensemble that excels at improvisation within the distinct styles of baroque, Renaissance and medieval music. Their programmes range from medieval drama and solo songs to baroque opera, from new works for early instruments to exuberantly danced suites. The ensemble’s stage-shows of 17th-century Spanish dances, early Irish planxties, and German baroque dances have delighted audiences around the world, from London’s Wigmore Hall, Berlin Philharmonie and New York’s Carnegie Hall to the Casals hall in Tokyo and the Sidney Opera House.
Susanne Ansorg is one of the most well-known fiddle players in the field of early music. Trained at the University of Leipzig and at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (Basle), she plays with several ensembles (among them Sequentia, Belladonna and Sarband) and performs all over Europe, in Canada, the USA, Brazil, Japan and Australia. She is also the director of “montalbČne“, the most innovative medieval music festivals in Europe. She has two new recordings out on Raumklang, ‘Melodious Melancholye’ with Ensemble Belladonna and ‘Triste Plasir’: www.raumklang.de
Harvey Brough started as a Coventry Cathedral choirboy, later studying at the Royal Academy of Music and Clare College, Cambridge. He lead Harvey and the Wallbangers and Field of Blue, and is possibly the only person to duet with Emma Kirkby, Cleo Laine and Natacha Atlas. He has arranged for Soul II Soul, Dankworth Generation big band, and the King of Thailand (RPO), and presented series on Radio 2 and Radio 4.
As composer, credits include Eyes Wide Shut, numerous film TV and radio programmes, Valete in Pace commissioned for the D-Day 60th anniversary 2004 for 3 choirs / London Mozart Players and Requiem in Blue which has had over 20 performances to date.
Simon Grant began his career as a chorister at King’s College, Cambridge, and later studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He is much in demand for early music with frequent tours throughout Europe, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the USA. His many solo recordings include Caronte in Monteverdi’s Orfeo, directed by Jonathan Miller. He has appeared with many contemporary music groups as well as performing on film soundtracks. He can provide a simultaneous rhythm and bass line vocally and can whistle and sing at the same time, an unusual talent he has demonstrated in concert halls and on television worldwide. For further information and recordings see www.voicesoflondon.com/voicesbiog.html
Ian Harrison grew up in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, and studied cornett at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague and the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. Combining the virtuoso technique of this instrument with the traditional articulation of the bagpipe he has become one of the first modern masters of the shawm, one of the most important wind instruments of the middle ages and renaissance. He is one of the world's most active performers and teachers of early wind instruments, playing regularly in concerts, on recordings and radio throughout Europe and beyond. He is also noted as a composer and arranger. For further information and recordings see www.ian-harrison.de
Peter Harvey studied at Magdalen College, Oxford, and then at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. His broad repertoire includes works from the early Baroque to contemporary composers, although he is principally known through his performances and many recordings as soloist with ensembles specialising in Early Music, including the English Baroque Soloists, the King’s Consort and the Purcell Quartet in the UK, and continental groups such as the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and the Collegium Vocale. Recent career highlights include Haydn’s “Creation” at the Barbican with the Gabrieli Consort, and a tour of Bach’s B minor Mass with the Netherlands Bach Society. www.peterharvey.com
Ian Honeyman is an English tenor (also actor and pianist) of international fame, who studied at King's College, Cambridge. The extent of his work is broad, and includes opera, oratorio, recital or in creation. He has been particularly noticed for his interpretations of the roles of Evangelist in the Passions of Bach and for his courses and recordings with Paul Dombrecht and his unit It Fondamento. With the l'Opéra Comique of Paris he was Hippolyte in the work of the same name by Rameau. As an actor-singer he reveals meditative and paroxistic aspects in the role of The Madwoman in Curlew River by Britten. www.bach-cantatas.com/Bio/Honeyman-Ian.htm
Hanna Järveläinen received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Sibelius Academy, Finland, in 2006 and is currently studying singing at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis with Evelyn Tubb and Gerd Türk.
Nicole Jordan graduated from Acadia University, Canada, in 2002. While there she sang with Gemini Award-winning Nathaniel Dett Choral, the Canadian Chamber Choir, and as soprano soloist with the Orpheus Choir of Toronto. Obtaining an MSc in Music Psychology from Keele University 2003, she is now in the final year of postgraduate research in music performance psychology at Sheffield University. She has recently played the ‘Angel’ and ‘Boy’ in Orgambide’s Sacro al Nacimiento de Christo SeĖor Nuestro, ‘Orpheus’ in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld, and has sung several recitals and orchestral concerts. She soon plans to move to The Netherlands to continue her performance career. See more about Nicole at www.nicolejordan.info.
John McMunn began his vocal studies at the Boston University Opera Institute, and has recently completed an MPhil in Musicology at King's College, Cambridge. Established as an ensemble and solo performer with several groups in Cambridge, he performed extensively throughout Europe and the United States and on numerous recordings for EMI and Signum with the Choir of King's College. A proponent of new music, he has premiered many works by living composers. Recent appearances include roles in Mahogany Opera's acclaimed touring production of Curlew River, and a controversial staging of Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea. Recipient of numerous awards, he is currently Cuthbert Smith Scholar at the Royal College of Music.
Michael Metzler was born in Leipzig, Germany. He studied percussion at the Leipzig College of Music, with Hermann Naehring (Berlin). He subsequently specialised in ethnic percussion, working with Achmed Subhy in Cairo and Glen Velez in New York. He has made numerous CD, radio and television recordings and has given guest performances in Europe, Asia and the Americas with ensembles such as The Harp Consort, Freiburger Barockorchester, Akamus, Taurus and others. Michael Metzler also teaches historical percussion and has given masterclasses and lectures all over the world.
Steven Player has been with the Harp Consort since its beginning. He has played on all of their recordings and performed around the world countless concerts from the Far East to the Americas and Australia. As a dancer specialising in the performance of early dance he has worked with many ensembles, theatres and schools bringing vitality and understanding to the dance music so often heard but never seen. He is in demand for his unique contribution as player, dancer, actor and low life singer, having performed everywhere from the cobbles of Covent Garden to the stage of La Scala.
Julian Podger first established himself as a singer and conductor whilst still at school in Kassel, Germany, after which he took up a choral award at Trinity College, Cambridge. As a soloist he has since worked with leading conductors including Andrew Parrott, Thomas Hengelbrock and John Eliot Gardiner (Bach cantatas, Grainger, Boulanger) and specialises in the role of evangelist for Bach’s passions, most recently with Stephen Stubbs in Bratislava. Operatic roles have taken him to Tokyo, Berlin, Melbourne (Ulisse in Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno d’Ulisse), and Boston. He has guest-directed Florilegium and the Norsk Barokkorkester, and has just completed a solo voice recording of Bach’s motets with his ensemble Trinity Baroque.
Clara Sanabras is originally from Barcelona, and studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She sings and plays exotic instruments with her bands The Real Lowdown and Retrospect. She also plays and sings in Natacha Atlas' Acoustic Band. Featured on the soundtrack and in the film of The Merchant of Venice (dir. Mike Radford) with Al Pacino + Jeremy Irons; music by Jocelyn Pook (Eyes Wide Shut). Clara writes music for film, theatre & TV and is currently working on a documentary for FIVE The Glories of Islam. www.clarasanabras.co.uk or www.myspace.com/clarasanabras
Anabel Temple has worked extensively in Theatre and Film including Ballet and Opera. She has designed for Opera Factory, the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden, and Opera London at Saddlers Wells. She has also designed for the Royal Court Theatre, Bristol Old Vic, Tricycle Theatre, Lyric Hammersmith, ICA, Riverside Studios, Liverpool Everyman and Stratford East. Her film work includes director Ang Lee’s Sense and Sensibility, Franco Zefferelli‚s Jane Eyre and Werner Nekes’ Ulysses.
Neil Fraser is a greatly experienced lighting designer and one of the world's foremost teachers of technical theatre, working particularly with young and aspiring stage lighting designers. He brings to his teaching over twenty years' experience of lighting professional productions in London and New York. He was Head of the Lighting Department at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art 1985 – 2002, since when he has taken over as Technical Director for all RADA’s technical training programmes. He is the author of several books about technical theatre and Theatre History Explained (Crowood Press 2004). His latest book, A Theatre Lighting Handbook comes out next year, also from Crowood.
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Southwark Cathedral In 606 a Convent was established on the south bank of the River Thames at the place from which the ferry used to cross over to the City of London. In 1106 an Augustinian Priory was established. From here they ministered to the pilgrims and the travellers, to the sick and the needy of the area and the Word of God was faithfully preached and the sacraments celebrated. In 2006 we therefore celebrate 1400 years of Christian witness and service on this site. Today in old and new buildings this Cathedral continues to serve the people of its parish and the people of the diocese, to be a centre of teaching, of worship, prayer and pilgrimage; place of welcome for the marginalized and excluded as well as the integrated and able. Southwark Cathedral has seen a growth in visitor numbers and in the size of its congregation as together we have proclaimed a gospel of radical engagement with God and the world.
King’s College Chapel The foundation stone of the Chapel was laid on the feast of St James, 15 July 1446 by Henry VI; it was the first step in his plan for a great court, of which the Chapel was to form the north side, but only the Chapel was ever completed. Construction suffered for many years during the War of the Roses, and it remained incomplete until the end of Henry VIII’s reign. It managed to escape the ravages of the Civil War and the Second World War, when the glass of most of the windows was removed for safety. The history of its construction is the subject of continuing research. Daily services are held here during academic terms, as well as the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols broadcast live across the world on Christmas Eve.