Hildegard von Bingen: Bambina Mistica Assisi premiere
“Hildegard von Bingen: Bambina Mistica” celebrates the life of Hildegard Von Bingen,
as taken from her writings about her childhood. Our World Premiere Cantata
also honors the young saints Ursula and Rupert to whom Hildegard was devoted.
Convento Porziuncola and Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli
6PM in the Convento Porziuncola: Inauguration of the exhibition: “Consonanze” of Luciano Tittarelli, introduction by Rossella Vasta on the poetics of Hildegard von Bingen e Frances of Assisi.
9PM in the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli: world premiere of cantata: “Hildegard von Bingen: bambina mistica” “Hildegard von Bingen: child mystic”
Agnese Pazienti, soprano, as Hildegard Adulta (Hildegard Adult) with the young girls’ voices of International Opera Theater of Philadelphia, directed by Karen Saillant, with music by Sardinian composer, Mariano Garau. Libretto by Karen Saillant. Italian translation by Maria Luisa Meo. Hair Design by Francesca Rivetti of Follicle Studio, Philadelphia. Seamstress, Mira Franzel.
HILDEGARD BAMBINA (Hildegard Child- age 8): Isabella Moitoso
JUTTA (Hildegard’s teacher age 14): Mary Tresvalles
LA NUTRICE: Elizabeth McKenzie
Eight of The Virtues as Named by Hildegard:
UMILTA’ (Humility): Mary Consoli
AMORE CELESTIALE (Celestial Love): Charlotte Croquette
CONOSCENZA DI DIO (Knowledge of God): Emma Giancola
FEDE (Faith): Lia Della Porta
GRAZIA (Mercy): Elizabeth McKenzie
INNOCENZA (Innocence): Gaby Bradbury
PAZIENZA (Patience): Margaret Friedman
SPERANZA (Hope): Maura Koob
L’ARPA (Harp): Mary Tresvalles
Keyboard: Elona Muca
La Scarzuola, Montegiove (TR)
“La voce della Scarzuola”
6PM – Presentation under the direction of Marco Nicoletti with music of Andrea Ceccomori.
7PM – Cantata: Hildegard Von Bingen: Bambina Mistica
In collaboration with le Cantina di Monte Vibiano and Adagio Art Agency.
The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia were delighted to host the American premier of Hildegard von Bingen: Bambina Mistica at their motherhouse on Sunday, November 8, 2015. The performance took place in Our Lady of Angels Chapel where the sisters pray daily for the needs of the world. There was no charge for the concert and all were welcomed.
Our production of “Hildegard vonBingen: Bambina Mistica” was dedicated to the memory of American voice teacher, Harold Parker, extraordinary musician, artist and visionary who centered his entire life’s work on the facilitation of truth and sincerity in the execution of music, theater and fine art.
Harold Parker was the first singing teacher of IOT founder and artistic director, Karen Saillant. Ms. Saillant was twelve years old and a full scholarship student at The Settlement Music School in Philadelphia when she began to be imprinted by the noble vision of Harold Parker.
Harold Parker believed that singing without excessive tension could offer to singers, as well as the audience, a transformational artistic experience. Harold Parker constantly took a stand for these important values, no matter what the consequences, or to what dissenting colleagues he had to deliver an enlightening commentary. The desire for harmony and balance was so deeply embraced by Mr. Parker and so thoroughly transferred to Ms. Saillant that it led her to leave Indiana University, where she was a full scholarship student, in her junior year. Eventually in her search for more answers, Ms. Saillant would embrace The Alexander Technique when she was introduced to it while singing in Italy in the 60s.
Her relationship with the Alexander Technique would lead her to a long and intimate relationship with Katherine Wielopolska, a member of FM Alexander’s original class, who Karen sought out after she returned from Italy. Kitty, as she was affectionately called, had just returned from England where she had been officially certified, as she had not been able to finish her original certification because of a mental breakdown. At that time there were no Alexander teachers in Philadelphia. Karen worked diligently to introduce all of her friends to the work. For three years, Kitty gave Ms. Saillant daily lessons and Kitty eventually became Harold’s Alexander teacher. Kitty took Karen to New York to study with Carl Stough, as she believed that he had the answer to a breathing problem which had been creating problems for Karen since before birth. Carl Stough was able to remediate Karen’s sternal angle, a situation believed unchangeable and which no one previous to her work with Carl had understood, which had, unbeknownst to Harold, Kitty and Karen, been at the center of her breathing difficulties for decades.
Harold Parker never stopped supporting his philosophy of release and standing up for what he believed. Ms. Saillant would ultimately engage in decades of research into the essence of balance both onstage and in group settings. This goal would lead to the development of her own work- “The Saillant System: Singing In Harmony With Nature”. This work has its roots in those early days when working with her visionary teacher: Harold Parker. “HIldegard vonBingen: Bambina Mistica” seeks to share that love for nature, for nobility of purpose, for the virtuous life, which was evidenced in all aspects of Harold Parker’s existence. It is with deep gratitude that International Opera Theater celebrates Harold Parker and his life- dedicated to beauty.