OHC cosponsors two esteemed early music ensembles

Two world-class performances of early music come to Eugene this winter. The Oregon Humanities Center’s Endowment for Public Outreach in the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities is a major cosponsor of Cappella Romana’s concert “Hymns of Kassianë” on Thursday, January 9, 2020 at 7:30 p.m., and The Boston Camerata’s performance of “Ludus Danielis” or “The Play of Daniel” on Saturday, February 8, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. Both performances will take place at Central Lutheran Church, 1857 Potter St.

Painting of Kassia the nunCappella Romana ensembleWith “Hymns of Kassianë” concert-goers will discover the ancient music of ninth-century nun, poet, and hymnographer Kassianë, a.k.a. Kassía, sung by an ensemble of female and male psaltës (cantors). This concert features rarely heard music by Byzantium’s most formidable and prolific female composer. New discoveries, researched and led by Cappella Romana music director and founder Alexander Lingas, complement Kassía’s famous The Troparion of Kassianë or Hymn of Kassianë, a confessional by Mary Magdalene to Christ as she pours myrrh over His head just before His passion; and Augoustou monarchesantos or When Augustus reigned, which compares and contrasts the reign of Augustus (27 BCE–14 CE), the first Roman emperor, with the rule of Jesus Christ. 

scene from The Play of DanielThe renowned early music group The Boston Camerata, under the direction of French musician and musicologist Anne Azéma, will be in Eugene for a six-day educational and performing visit culminating in a public performance of the rare musical drama “The Play of Daniel.” Written about 1230 at Beauvais Cathedral in northern France, “The Play of Daniel” is a powerful medieval mystery play that combines 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. This will be a rare opportunity to hear the Middle Ages as it actually sounded, using a manuscript actually written in neumes (medieval musical notation). 

In the days preceding the performance members of the ensemble will visit numerous classes and give talks across campus.

Both “Hymns of Kassianë” and “The Play of Daniel” are free and open to the public. For more information about Cappella Romana’s concert contact Stephen Shoemaker, sshoemak@uoregon.edu. For more information about The Boston Camerata’s performance contact Gina Psaki, rpsaki@uoregon.edu.

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