Wikio - Top Blogs - Religion and belief

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Seeing More Clearly with the Eyes of Love

Yesterday saw the presentation at St Martin-in-the-Fields of ‘Seeing More Clearly with the Eyes of Love’, a new liturgy for voices based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, composed to mark the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream contains two significant references to the New Testament: Bottom’s misquoting of St Paul (‘The eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen…’) and Bottom’s declaration taken from the Letter to the Ephesians (‘I assure you: the wall is down that parted their fathers’). In this ‘Liturgy for Voices’ these references are woven together with other excerpts from the play, words from the biblical poem ‘Song of Songs’, and elements from the traditional Christian liturgy to enable those present to explore Shakespeare’s own theme of clarifying the vision which belongs to love. The liturgy also includes five newly commissioned pieces from contemporary poets based on characters in the play: Laurence Sail (Titania), Michael Symmons Roberts (Demetrius), Sinead Morrissey (Puck), Micheal O’ Siadhail (Helena) and Jenny Lewis (Bottom); and the whole is intended to present an aspect of ‘Civic Shakespeare’, reflecting on the potentially transforming effect of love in civil society.

Andy Goodliff has posted a reflection on the experience of being present for this liturgy. He says:

"I like the ambition of the liturgy, the way we journeyed through the play and also the pattern of worship. I loved the music, composed by Myra Blyth (who for her many talents, did not know this was one). The music was suitably Shakespearian in sound, but also had echoes of Karl Jenkins and his The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace. The final piece, which worked as a means of Blessing and Dismissal was wonderful. The intercessions were powerful and brought the themes of love and God into the concerns of our day."

‘Seeing More Clearly with the Eyes of Love’ was a fascinating interweaving of new and old texts, voices, music, responses, symbolic action and performance.


No comments: