The Ensemble for Early Music will present a dramatic staging of Sponsus: The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 30 in Hancher Auditorium on the University of Iowa …
The Ensemble for Early Music will present a dramatic staging of Sponsus: The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 30 in Hancher Auditorium on the University of Iowa campus.
Frederick Renz, director of the ensemble, will lead a pre-performance discussion at 7 p.m. in the Hancher Greenroom, with Connie Berman of the UI history department. The discussion is free to performance ticketholders.
Besides the 45-minute play, the Ensemble for Early Music will perform other music from the 11th and 12th centuries.
Sponsus, an 11th-century play from the Abbey of Saint-Martial in Limoges, France, dramatizes a New Testament parable of the Second Coming and Judgment Day. Matthew 25:1-13 tells of the Wise Virgins, who make certain that they have oil for their lamps, and are thus able to meet the Bridegroom at midnight, and the Foolish Virgins, whose imprudence renders them unworthy.
The fully-staged production, performed in Latin and French, was commissioned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A full translation of the text will be mailed to advance ticketbuyers and also will be reprinted in the playbill.
A Louisville Courier Journal review stated, “Many of the (early music) performing ensembles are quite good, but none approaches the exacting standards or bravura performance techniques of the Ensemble for Early Music.” The New York Times has described the ensemble’s performances as “stunning, ravishing, and beautifully performed.”
Cambridge Place Apartments is the corporate sponsor of the Ensemble for Early Music performance through the University of Iowa Foundation.
Tickets are $25, $22 and $19. UI students and senior citizens qualify for a 20-percent discount, with Zone 3 tickets available to UI students for $10. Tickets for audience members 17 and younger are half price.