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Play of Daniel - Daniel Interpreting the Writing on the Wall

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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).

Daniel Interpreting the Writing on the Wall
Daniel is brought to the King, who promises him great wealth if he can translate the writing on the wall. Daniel contemplates the mysterious message, then answers slowly, explaining that by keeping the sacred vessels looted by his father, Balthasar will suffer the same fate that his father did. The writings, Daniel says, foretell the end of Balthasar's life and his kingdom. Despite learning of his own doom, Balthasar keeps his promise to reward Daniel, and cloaks him with royal vestments.

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.

Production
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

Cast
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

Instrumentalists
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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