Fri 01 - Sat 02Mar2019

SJE Arts Centre, Oxford

Blurring the boundaries of what a concert is, The Telling bring you three intimate “concert-theatre” pieces to mark International Women’s Day 2019, transporting you back in time through plaintive ballads, lively dance music and dramatic narrative. The Empowered Women Trilogy celebrates the lives of three extraordinary women who defy the strictures of their time and whose stories are both of their time but also startlingly contemporary

1st March, 18:30: Talk about Hildegard of Bingen

Fiona Maddocks, The Observer’s classical music critic, discusses Hildegard’s life and writings in the context of crusade and schism, scientific discovery and cultural revolution.

1st March, 20:00: Vision

Vision is an atmospheric candlelit show with a personal narrative by the extraordinary Abbess Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) alongside performances of her mesmeric chant. The show gives an insight into the painful visionary experiences Hildegard suffered throughout her life, covering some of the core emotional moments in her life. It is “an imagined testimony” as Hildegard lies on her deathbed, revisiting and re-experiencing meaningful episodes from her past, including the moment when she was taken from her family at the age of 8 and when she made the decision at the age of 42 to finally talk about and write down her visions.

2nd March, 13.30: Talk on Bearded Women Saints

Superstition, medieval credulity, iconographical mistake or photo-feminist heroic? Dr Mark Philpott explains a once-popular cult.

2nd March, 15:00: Unsung Heroine

Unsung Heroine is the imagined history of troubadour Countess Beatriz de Dia (1140-1212). A blending of history and fiction, this intimate concert/play takes you back to the heady atmosphere of 12th century Provence with plaintive songs and foot-stomping medieval dances. Jan Chappell plays the redoubtable Beatriz, a feisty woman troubadour, trapped in a loveless marriage. She meets fellow troubadour Raimbaut d’Aurenga and they embark on a passionate affair. But Beatriz has enemies at court and as summer moves to autumn and events spiral inevitably towards their conclusion, Beatriz channels her feelings into her song A Chantar, the only troubadour song by a woman, where both poetry and melody survived in notated form.

2nd March, 20:00: Into the Melting Pot

Spain, July 1492: the deadline for the expulsion of the Jews is days away. At twilight a Jewish woman lights the lamps and starts up her spinning wheel. It is her last night in Seville. She tunes into voices of a community of Jewish, Christian and Muslim women from across the Spanish peninsula. Down the centuries, women’s stories of integration, love, the rich cultural heritage of the Spanish peninsula and racial intolerance are played out to a soundtrack of plaintive Sephardic songs and lively medieval Cantigas and instrumentals which fuse Christian, Jewish and Arabic instrumentation and styles. With atmospheric candlelight and lighting design.

£7 - £32

Organiser: / 01865 244 806

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