The cantata presents the sensitivity and courage of a young girl named Hildegard, 10th child of a wealthy medieval family, born in 1098, who would grow up to become a world famous Benedictine abbess at Bingen, writer, composer, painter, philosopher, Christian mystic, visionary, creator of her own language, and a polymath who is considered to be the founder of scientific natural history in Germany.
Given the overall misogyny and repression of women during the Middle Ages, Hildegard’s often outspoken criticism of ecclesiastical and political corruption made her some enemies; yet, she was a sought after advisor to Kings and Popes—an unprecedented accomplishment for a 12th century woman. Given the short life span for most people in the Middle Ages, she lived a long life (till 1179), leaving a legacy that still stuns people today.
This beautiful and thought provoking cantata is now premiering in the US at another sacred place: Our Lady of Angels Chapel in the convent of The Sisters of Saint Francis of Assisi of Philadelphia as part of the Global Philadelphia 2015 celebration this Sunday, November 8 at 3 pm. The original singer just flew into Philadelphia to play Hildegard von Bingen as the Abbess.
Karen Lauria Saillant, artistic and musical director, staged and directed the cast of HILDEGARD, which includes these performers: Agnese Pazienti (Hildegard as an Adult), Isabella Moitoso (Hildegard as a Child), Mary Tresvalles (Hildegard’s Teacher, Jutta von Sponheim), Elizabeth McKenzie (Mercy and the Nurse of Hildegard the Child), Mary Consoli (Humility), Charlotte Croquette (Celestial Love), Lia Della Porta (Faith), Margaret Friedman (Patience), Emma Giancola (Knowledge of God), and Maura Koob (Hope). Costume design and execution by Micaela Valentini, and hair design by Francesca Rivetti of Philadelphia Follicle Studio.
[Our Lady of Angels Chapel at the convent of The Sisters of Saint Francis of Assisi in Philadelphia, 609 S. Convent Road, Aston, PA] November 8, 2015.