Following rave reviews, leading early music group The Telling will re-release their “austerely beautiful” concert/play Vision about Hildegard at 5pm today for 52 hours only, as part of their #HomeTour series.
The Telling launched their #HomeTour series on Wednesday 12th August with the premiere of the online adaption of Clare Norburn’s critically acclaimed concert/play Vision: the imagined testimony of Hildegard of Bingen, supported by Arts Council England, Ambache Charitable Trust and Sylvia Waddilove Foundation. The film was available for two weeks but is being re-released on 1st September 2020 at 5pm for a 52-hour window.
The concert/play (where music and drama collide) is directed by award-winning BBC TV director Nicholas Renton (BAFTA nominated Mrs Gaskell’s Wives and Daughters, Musketeers, Lewis, Silent Witness). It features actor Teresa Banham (a several time RSC member, with guest roles on Dr Who, Call the Midwife, Silent Witness) as the extraordinary abbess as she revisits painful visionary experiences she suffered throughout her life. The drama is accompanied by Hildegard’s mesmerising chants performed by Clare Norburn (soprano), Ariane Prüssner (mezzo) and Jean Kelly (medieval harp) of The Telling.
Clare Norburn will be interviewed by Katie Derham on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune at around 5.15pm this evening, which follows a wonderful review from Tim Ashley of the Guardian last week who named Vision as one of his “watching and listening highlights”:
“And as part of its #HomeTour series, the London-based early music group The Telling is streaming Vision: the Imagined Testimony of Hildegard of Bingen, a film about the 12th-century mystic and composer, written by soprano Clare Norburn, directed by Nicholas Renton, and shot in St Mary Magdalene’s Church in Paddington. Actor Teresa Banham plays Hildegard, while Norburn and mezzo Ariane Prüssner are mesmerising in the music. An austerely beautiful piece about a woman whose faith gave her extraordinary strength and courage.”
Singer and playwright Clare Norburn explains: “The production was filmed over two days during lockdown at the haunting church crypt of St Mary Magdalene’s Church Paddington (one of Betjeman’s favourite London churches). We had to think about how best to film this kind of show – which was going to be a challenge at the best of times, to which we had to add in worries about singing (although chant is arguably the most gentle and “least produced” form of singing out there!) No one has really filmed a show quite like this for camera before. We found the solution was to pre-record the sound – the recording process is naturally socially distanced as you want distance between each microphone – and then lip sync to playback, getting away from the need for our singers to sing on film and therefore from needing to be 3 metres distant from anyone when filming!
“Vision features music by the extraordinary abbess and gives an insight into her life, with an intimate, dramatic narrative. She was, in many ways, an ordinary girl taken from her parents at the age of 8 and bricked into a cell. She was extraordinary in how fought her doubts and the strictures imposed upon women in the Middle Ages to go on to found her own convent, oversee the writing down of her visions – and then in her last years to go out and preach.”
The film will be re-released at 5pm on Tuesday 1st September on The Telling’s Facebook and YouTube pages and will be available for 52 hours until Thursday 3rd September, 9pm. During the first release, Vision received nearly 3000 views. The Telling also held a pre-show singing workshop to learn a number from the show as well as a post-show Q&A and Meet the Artists session via Zoom.
Watch Vision on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thetellingmusic/videos/
Watch Vision on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LaDKGP6iKdo
Vision is part of The Telling’s Empowered Women trilogy. Another show from the trilogy, Unsung Heroine: the secret life and love of 12th century troubadour Countess Beatriz de Dia (the Amy Winehouse of medieval times), is also being adapted for an online premiere on 23rd September which will be available to watch for one week. Filming took place over two days at a shabby chic chapel turned venue in Peckham. The production will include the only surviving song written by the Countess as well as other troubadour and trouvère music, including by other women, e.g. Blanche de Castille.
The latest #HomeTour release is harpist Joy Smith’s story with music The Tiller Girl: a story of the power of a brave and true heart and the unexpected rewards reaped through selfless generosity. This beautifully re-imagined folk tale from medieval Italy was filmed in one take as a live storytelling performance. Combining words, cinematography and music (from medieval to the present day, performed on early and modern instruments), it is simply a feast for the senses.
The Tiller Girl is available to watch on Facebook and YouTube until 9th September, 8pm where it will be replaced by a film of a Sephardic Song Concert with The Telling’s singers, Clare Norburn and Ariane Prüssner.
Watch The Tiller Girl on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thetellingmusic/videos/1029497144152146/
Watch The Tiller Girl on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LaDKGP6iKdo
The Telling #HomeTour will take place most Wednesday evenings from 12 August to 28 October 2020 (excepting 19 August and 2 Sept) – with the main event at 8pm. Each show will be available to screen for a week (Vision: 2 weeks). Some events have a Zoom pre-workshop at 7.15pm. Some have post-show events, also on Zoom. Visit www.thetelling.co.uk/home-tour for full details