This text forms part of the libretto La Passion de Lagamas.

Ce texte fait partie du libretto La Passion de Lagamas.

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CHOIR – Dignified / Resonant / Churchlike / Byzantine                      

Eli, Eli, Lama Sabbachthani

Eli, Eli, Lama Sabbachthani

Eli, Eli, Lama Sabbachthani (1)

IMG_2597We are at the Last Supper at the Château de Lagamas – it is the time for the pastis,
The garden is a locus terribilis – sound is seen – melody is in our ears,
The drumming tymbals of the cicadas resonate – screaming and screeching their song of courtship,
The three stars of the magi sit low in the sky – a multitude of white flowers will soon become green almonds.

Musarc performance. Photo by Yiannis Katsaris, 2014.
Musarc performance. Photo by Yiannis Katsaris, 2014.

Martha and Mary prepare the feast – the table spread with eggs, olives, grapes, figs, vines, unleavened bread –  heavy-handed with the olive oil,
Noah’s daughters share their secret dressing – bay, thyme, cloves, hyssop and vinegar – of bitter herbs,
Lot’s wife spills the salt – throws it over her shoulder and looks round – lamenting.

IMG_1985

Love will be betrayed with a kiss.

John, Luke, Matthew, and Mark – share the clues of the mots croisés in Libération – the puzzle of the cross – twelve across – ten letters, first letter A – APOCRYPHAL
Susanna emerges glistening from the piscine in white bathrobe – the smell of lavender heavy in the garden,
Two lecherous old men share an aperitif and leer from the balcony – anointing their fantasies with spices.

Love will be betrayed with a kiss.

Solo: Melanie Pappenheim : Sound in background

The girls from Valence Can’t make love;

The girls from Provence
 Do it night and day. (2)

At the end of the table Eve is tempted by Satan – putting honey in our mouths
A Banquet of ten virgins – five of them wise – five of them foolish – vive la différence.
Delilah – with pierced belly-button – full of lust and passion – runs her fingers through Samson’s thick black hair – he dreams of la petite mort – faithful to the last,
Salomé pouts and sulks in dark glasses and zebra skin shoes – thrilled and petulant with the new wine – dances the cicada cha-cha-cha with animal esthétique,

Love will be betrayed with a kiss.

John, the son of Zechariah – holding a straw hat and bandaged ear – wanders in from the wilderness of the artists’ studio,
Jesus of Nazareth – reads Midi-Soir – excited about the Entry of Christ into Jerusalem – he talks in parables,
The twelve disciples sleep heavily – black shadows under their eyes – Judas dips his bread in a dish of black olives – cuts the white chèvre with a sharp knife.

Love will be betrayed with a kiss.

The Occitan troubadors’ chanson de geste echoes through the garden,
Paradise is the place of birdsong and the murmuring of water,
Hell is the place of noise and lamentations – the grinding of teeth and the whine of the mosquito,
Hell is the sound of silence.

Choir: Whispered softly – a few voices start, gradually joined by more, then all voices          

It is time to let us go. It is dark.
The skin of the cat begins to shine.

Choir: Alto Solo 

Outside my window,

There is a little bird,

Singing all night,

Singing its song.
If it sings, let it sing,

It’s not singing for me,

It sings for my love 

Who’s far away. (3)

FIN

Jeremy Hunt. London. March 2014

 

Notes

1. Eli, Eli, Lama Sabbachthani. Aramaic: My god, why hast thou forsaken me?

2. From Se Canta, the National anthem of Occitania, of which at least twelve regional versions exist. Also known as: Se Chanta; Aqueras Montanhas; Montanhes Araneses. (English: If it Sings)

Se Canta (Valadas Version)

Lei filhas de Valença
San pas far l’amor;
Quelei de Provença
Lo fan nuèch e jorn.

3. Se Canta (Provence version)

Sota ma fenèstra,
I a un aucelon,
Tota la nuèch canta,
Canta sa cançon.
Chorus
Se canta e recanta,
Canta pas per ieu:
Canta per ma mia
Qu’es au luènh de ieu.