Thursday, January 04, 2007

Hell the musical comes to Vatican

BBC reports on a new musical, which is to be premiered in the Vatican, it seems to be an an expression of the Pope's belief that heaven and therefore worship, is conveyed by a particular kind of music and hell by another. I think it could be one of those Benedictine signs in his campaign to rid worship of inappropriate music.

A Vatican composer is to stage an opera based on Dante's Divine Comedy, with visions of heaven, hell and purgatory.
The lavish production is reported to include 200 performers and musicians, six projectors and a huge stage.
The composer, Monsignor Marco Frisina, has said it will contain a variety of musical styles, with hell illustrated with rock, punk and rave.
The Divine Comedy is an epic medieval poem describing the journey through three parts of the afterlife.
Frisina has written a large number of songs and soundtracks, for TV movies as well as religious works.

"It's a non-traditional opera, all kinds of sounds are used," he said.

Reports suggest heaven will be full of classical style melodies, the limbo of purgatory will be illustrated with Gregorian Chant, with hell full of more jarring music.
Frisina said the use of rock music to describe the devil's den was not a value judgment on the genre but that rock's "violent and rebellious tones" help create "a hellish atmosphere".
He confirmed most of the opera's lyrics are taken directly from the poem, a classic considered one of the first works of Italian literature.
The dancing routines were also inspired by Dante's descriptions, and elaborate sets will be enhanced by dozens of images projected on screens, Frisina said.
Organisers plan to start rehearsals in the next few weeks and have asked permission for the premiere to be held at the Vatican in the presence of Pope Benedict XVI.
They added it was hoped it would be possible to tour the production around Europe.


Anonymous said...

I am very glad to learn that the Pope also thinks that the sounds of rock and punk are hellish

Anonymous said...

'The limbo of purgatory'? That can't be right now...

Chris Serpell

Fr Ray Blake said...

Odd, yes.
Cut and paste from BBC.

roydosan said...

Might I suggest the music of the St Louis Jesuits for purgatory?

The Lord’s descent into the underworld

At Matins/the Office of Readings on Holy Saturday the Church gives us this 'ancient homily', I find it incredibly moving, it is abou...