SONG OF SONGS
CONCEPT & BOOK by Christopher Fuelling
MUSIC of Monteverdi, Schütz, Cary & Jay
traditional Sephardic music curated by Vanessa Paloma
Christopher Fuelling and Vanessa Paloma's investigation of the origins and bizarre cultural interpretations of the Biblical Song of Songs, the collection of breathtaking love poems, often told from in a woman’s voice, that never mentions God. Despite the strangely un-erotic allegorical interpretations of its frank and lovely erotic imagery, presumably required to be included in first the Jewish and then Christian scriptures, over the centuries it has produced countless, gorgeously sensual musical settings from ancient Sephardic songs, to an efflorescence in the Early Baroque music of the Catholic Reformation, and its place in contemporary Jewish wedding rituals.
Arranged with Middle Eastern and historical instruments by Miles Jay to accompany its lush melodies and movement, and dance and melodies interspersed with amusing critical commentary, this creative take on the Song of Song sensuously beckons us into the original world of the women who composed this oral tradition over two millennia ago and how passionately they still speak of desire today.
AVAILABILITY: currently in a rewrite phase, two versions are being developed that can be engaged.
- A Synagogue “Pulpit Opera”: exploring its ancient and contemporary Jewish heritage is appropriate for Synagogues.
- A shorter, sensual version designed to connect directly to the desire and arousal of the poetry and music can be performed in a variety of large and intimate settings.
The first performance at The Alchemy in 2016 was directed by Christopher Fuelling and music directed by Deborah Hurwitz, featuring Vanessa Paloma, Melinda Cary, Val Vigoda, Miles Jay, Michelle Barton, Matthew Acuff, et al.