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OBERLIN CONSERVATORY STUDENT DIRECTOR PRESENTS MEDIEVAL MUSICAL DRAMA LUDUS DANIELIS IN CLEVELAND, BOSTON, AND OBERLIN

January 20, 2005—Mary E. Larew, a senior music composition major at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and a recipient of one of Great Britain's coveted Marshall Scholarships, is directing a production of the medieval musical play Ludus Danielis (The Play of Daniel) at venues in Cleveland, Boston, and Oberlin.

Since its revival in the 1950s by the early-music concert ensemble New York Pro Musica, Ludus Danielis has become one of the most beloved and familiar medieval musical dramas of our time.

The production dramatizes two stories from the Book of Daniel--"The Writing on the Wall" and "The Lions' Den."  Recorded in the Egerton manuscript by 13th century students of the Beauvais Cathedral School, this work was performed for many years during the Christmas and New Year's season for the Feast of Fools.

Featuring students and alumni of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Larew's production brings this boisterous and beautiful medieval masterpiece to life, fully staged, choreographed, and costumed with the aesthetics of medieval visual art. Larew has added vocal harmonies and instrumental interludes, to be played by period instruments, to the 13 th-century music score. At the height of the dramatic action, three lions throat-sing a unique and intimidating polyphonic roar. Performances will be sung in Latin, and an English translation of the text will be provided in the program.

A free will offering of $10 is suggested for all performances. For additional information, please contact Mary Larew at: mary.larew@oberlin.edu or visit ludusdanielis.org.

The schedule of performances is as follows:

Cleveland

  • Saturday, January 29, 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, January 30, 7:30 p.m.

Shrine Church of St. Stanislaus
Slavic Village
3649 E. 65 th Street
Cleveland, Ohio 44105

Boston

  • Wednesday, February 2, 7:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, February 3, 7:30 p.m.

St. Paul's Episcopal Church
15 St. Paul Street
Brookline, Mass. 02446

  • Saturday, February 5, 2 p.m.

First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church
23 Dedham Avenue
Needham, Mass. 02912

Oberlin

  • Tuesday, February 8

6 p.m. MEDIEVAL FEAST*
8 p.m. Ludus Danielis

  • Wednesday, February 9

6 p.m. MEDIEVAL FEAST*
8 p.m. Ludus Danielis

Root Room (Room 217)
Carnegie Building
Oberlin College
52 W. Lorain Street
Oberlin, Ohio   44074

*Oberlin's Medieval Feast is a separate ticketed event. Attendees to the Feast will be served dinner prepared from historically researched recipes, and will enjoy period music and other forms of entertainment. Tickets to the Medieval Feast are $10 for students and children under 12 and $20 for all adults.

Principal soloists:

  • Tenor Samuel Sytsma '04   (Daniel)
  • Bass Chris Macklin '04 (Belshazzar)
  • Baritone Austin Clark '05 (Darius)
  • Soprano Caitlin Maura Smith '07 (Queen)

A chorus of 20 Oberlin students and alumni, including:

  • Avery Book '04, Chris Macklin '04, and Joseph Kimmel '05 (Lions)
  • Walker Evans '05, Noah Horn '07, Joseph Kimmel '05, and Stephen Lind '05 (Wise Men)
  • Erin Grady '06 and Jason Lindgren '05 (Enemies of Daniel)
  • Sarah Allen '06, Rachael Luther '07, and Timothy Rosser '06 (Angels)
  • Eric Tillberg '07 (Habakkuk)
  • Avery Bang '04, Leah Falk '07, David Giusti '08, Madeleine Hogue '05, Jason Lindgren '05, Naomi Morse '04, Timothy Rosser '06,   and Eric Tillberg '07 (Belshazzar's Court)
  • Walker Evans '06, David Giusti '08, Erin Grady '06, Jane Leggiero '06, Stephen Lind '06, Jason Lindgren '05, Caitlin Maura Smith '07, and Zoe Weiss '06 (Darius's Court)

Instrumentalists:

  • Harp and Psaltery: Valerie Neverman '05 (all performances)
  • Organ (Cleveland performance only): Thatcher Lyman '04
  • Shawms, Recorders, and Bagpipes Debra Nagy '00 and Rotem Gilbert (Boston and Oberlin performances only); David Giusti '08 (all performances)
  • Vielles: Zoe Weiss '06 and Jane Leggiero '06
  • Recorders and Percussion: Walker Evans '05

Set Design: Megan Hart '05

Costumes: Sarah Allen '06

About the director:
Mary E. Larew is a native of Iowa City, Iowa, where she studied violin and piano at the Preucil School of Music. Now a senior music composition major at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Larew has studied composition with Lewis Nielson, Randolph Coleman, Jeffrey Mumford, and Marilyn Shrude and violin with Kyung Sun Lee.

Larew's greatest passion is Medieval and Renaissance music. At Oberlin, she has performed as a soloist and ensemble member of the Collegium Musicum Oberliniense and is co-founder of the a cappella consort Uncloistered. In January 2004, Larew directed a production of Hildegard von Bingen's Ordo Virtutum, with performances in Oberlin and Cleveland. She has also performed with the Renaissance wind band Ciaramella, and can be found on their CD War ich ein Falk, which will be released by Naxos this summer. Upon graduation from the Oberlin Conservatory, Larew plans to study early vocal performance practice and ensemble singing with Dr. John Potter at the University of York under the aegis of a 2005 Marshall Scholarship.

About the Oberlin Conservatory of Music:
The Oberlin Conservatory of Music, founded in 1865 and situated within the intellectual vitality of Oberlin College since 1867, is the oldest continuously operating conservatory in the United States. It is renowned internationally as a professional music school of the highest caliber, and its alumni have gone on to achieve illustrious careers in all aspects of the serious music world. Numerous Oberlin alumni have attained stature as solo performers, composers, and conductors, among them Jennifer Koh, Steven Isserlis, Denyce Graves, Franco Farina, Lisa Saffer, George Walker, Christopher Rouse, David Zinman, and Robert Spano. Oberlin-trained musicians, among them Benjamin Bagby, founder of Sequentia, Jeannette Sorrell, founder and music director of Apollo's Fire, and Kathleen Fay, executive director of the Boston Early Music Festival, are also highly respected contributors to the field of historical performance. All of the members of the contemporary music ensembles eighth blackbird and the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) are Oberlin graduates, and members of the Miró, Pacifica, Juilliard, and Fry Street quartets, among others, include Oberlin alumni, who can also be found in major orchestras and opera companies throughout the world.

For more information about Oberlin, please visit Oberlin.edu.

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Media Contact: Marci Janas

   

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