Vocalypse Productions will present the Bingen / Rolfe project with Hildegard of Bingen’s Ordo Virtutum, (ca. 1151), regarded as one of the first morality plays, and perhaps one of the first operas, along with a new work, inspired by the Bingen, by Canadian composer James Rolfe entitled O Greenest Grass. Dates will be announced in the fall.
Hildegard’s Ordo virtutum is the story about a young soul, Anima, who is tempted by the Devil and ventures away from the support of the Virtues into the sins of the world. Feeling ashamed about her festering wounds inflicted by the Devil, she returns to the welcome embrace and aid of the Virtues. The Devil is furious that the Soul has turned her back on him, but the Soul and the Virtues defeat him. It is ultimately a story of good and evil portrayed as a battle between a veritable army of Virtues against the personification of all Vices: the Devil.
James Rolfe’s new song cycle O Greenest Branch has been written, through a Canada Council for the Arts grant, as a companion piece to Ordo Virtutum.