Saintly Sounds

“Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe” said Saint Augustine. Those of you with an interest in the wise words of the Saints may take a liking to the following event…

On Saturday November 6th from 7:30pm to 9pm the Palladium Musicum will host the performance of a brand new Cantata. The concert will take place at St. Bede’s Chapel in Greenwich and will tell the stories of the women saints: the Virgin Mary, Saint Anne, Saint Agnes, Barbara, Elizabeth, Theresa and Catherine of Sienna. The stories will be told as a series of conversations sung by female vocalists representing the female saints.

The Reverend Canon Victoria Sirota of the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine will be the librettist and Dr. Robert Sirota, notable composer, will both compose and direct the cantata. Reverend Dr. James Lemler, Rector of Christ Church Greenwich, will undertake research on the women saints as the basis for the cantata. A champagne reception for ticket patrons will be held at the Greenwich Field Club at the conclusion of the program. For further information please log onto www.palladiummusicum.org

Saint Catherine of Siena, one of the Saints portrayed in this Cantata, was the daughter of a northern Italian wool dyer. At the age of twelve her parents thought of arranging a marriage for her, but she begged them not to. After some years, convinced by her steadfastness and patience, her father relented and Catherine joined the Third Order of Dominicans.

People were attracted to her because of her apparent calm and wisdom. She served the poor and began to gather disciples. When a vision commanded her Catherine entered into correspondence with the princes and republics of Italy, was consulted by papal legates about the affairs of the Church and began working to repair the damage of civil war and religious factions in her country.

It was chiefly her letters, advice, and persistence that finally convinced Saint Gregory XI to leave Avignon and return to Rome. Catherine traveled to many cities at a time when travel wasn’t easy or comfortable, working for peace in Italy and the Church. Saint Catherine died on 29 April 1380: she was just 33 years old.

I have no doubt the concert on November 6th will be a delight for music connoisseurs and I am sure it will be well attended. And for those of you who have no affinity for this type of music, rest assured, the subject matter alone is sure to lift your spirits far from the drudgery of everyday life and make this a concert not to be missed…

Victoria Baker of Greenwich is an opera singer. A winner of many prestigious competitions, she has performed and worked with distinguished artists across the world (notably at Lincoln Center). She teaches piano & voice privately in Greenwich. For questions that deserve answers, and may be in print, please call (203) 531-7499 or send email to [email protected]

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