Play of Daniel - Balthasar's Feast




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Published on Mar 29, 2010

The Play of Daniel, or Ludus Danielis, was originally created in the late twelfth century by "the youth" of Beauvais, meaning the boys and young men who made up the cathedral choir. Probably performed for the Feast of Fools on January 1, it tells the story of Daniel, the mystery of the handwriting on the wall, the downfall of King Balthasar, and the terror of the lions' den. The text of this performance is based on an early thirteenth century manuscript from Beauvais, France (British Library, Egerton MS 2615).

Balthasar's Feast
King Balthasar of Babylon wishes to celebrate a feast, and commands the Satraps to bring the sacred vessels from the Hebrew Temple, which was destroyed by his father, Nebuchadnezzar. Suddenly a mysterious message in a cryptic writing appears on the wall. Balthasar summons his astrologers to interpret the message, but they are unable to understand its meaning. The Queen arrives, and advises Balthasar to summon Daniel, one of the Hebrew captives at the Babylonian court.

Filmed on December 19, 2008 in the Fuentidueña Chapel of The Cloisters, this production was commissioned by Concerts at The Cloisters to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the Play's modern premiere by Noah Greenberg and the New York Pro Musica Antiqua, which took place at The Cloisters in 1958.

Drew Minter, Stage Director
Mary Anne Ballard, Music Director
Stephen Dobay, Sets
Sascha Richter, Costumes
Brian Barnett, Lights
Joe Gladstone, Stage Manager
Christopher Ford, Costume Assistant
Rob Arena, Master Carpenter

Daniel - James Ruff
King Balthasar - Peter Walker
King Darius - José Lemos
Queen - Sarah Pillow
Princes/Envious Counselors - Sorab Wadia, Scott Mello, Zachary Wilder
Satraps- Elizabeth Baber, Amaranta Viera, Kris Gould, Sarah Gallogly, Amy Bartram
Magi/Soldiers - Pedro dAquino, Seth Katz
Angel with sword - Elizabeth Baber
Abacuc - Peter Walker
Abacucs Angel - Sarah Pillow
Lions - Pedro dAquino, Seth Katz

recorders - Rachel Begley
recorders/shawm - Daphna Mor
medieval lute - Daniel Swenberg
medieval lute - Amy Bartram
psaltery - Lucy Cross
rebec - Dongmyung Ahn
rebec/vielle - Mary Anne Ballard
percussion - Rex Benincasa

Video Documentation Production
Producer and Director - Christopher Noey
Editor - Jessica Glass
Camera - Wayne De La Roche, Jessica Glass
Gaffer - Ned Hallick
Sound Recording - Thomas Myers
Audio Mix - David Raymond
Production Assistants - Kate Farrell, Angela Kim


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