Theater News

Heather Christian’s Terce: A Practical Breviary to Have World Premiere

HERE is presenting the work as part of the Prototype festival.

Heather Christian (© Maria Baranova)
Heather Christian
(© Maria Baranova)

The Obie award-winning HERE continues its women-led, 30th anniversary season with the world premiere of Terce: A Practical Breviary, the latest musical incantation by two-time Obie award-winning composer Heather Christian (Oratorio for Living Things). Presented as part of Prototype: Opera | Theatre | Now, Terce: A Practical Breviary is a radical rethinking of a monastic 9am mass that reimagines the face of the “Holy Spirit” through the lens of the Divine Feminine. Running January 10-20 at the Space at Irondale, it is directed by Keenan Tyler Oliphant and sung by a community choir of over 30 caregivers and makers.

Inspired by ideas taken from three primary female mystics (Julian of Norwich, Hildegard von Bingen, and Robin Wall Kimmerer), this non-narrative song cycle blends new music, neo-soul, and gospel with traditional medieval organum. The new work is danced wildly and percussed with handmade instruments made from traditional tools of home and craft making.

Terce: A Practical Breviary features an ensemble of over 35 performers led by Heather Christian (piano, organ, vocals), Terry Dame (percussion, saxophone, vocals), Viva DeConcini (electric guitar, vocals), Mel Hsu (cello, bass, vocals), Mona Seyed-Boloforosh (piano, vocals), and Maya Sharpe (violin, acoustic guitar, vocals). They are joined by Rima Fand (violin, vocals), Jessica Lurie (wind, vocals), Divya Maus (vocals), and Kait Warner (vocals), along with a community chorus featuring Raquel Cion, Marisa Clementi, Ciera Cope, Nadine Daniels, Sandra Garner, Audrey Hayes, Mercedes Hesselroth, Frances Higgins, Davina Honeghan, Beau Kadir, Rachel Karp, Sarah Lefebvre, Aris Louis, Teri Madonna, Grenetta Mason, Mickaila Perry, Eleanor Philips, Avery Richards, Kayleigh Rozwat, Amy Santos, Kayla Sklar, Sharyn Thomas, Vanessa Truell, Grace Tyson, Madrid Vinarski, Jessie Winograd, and Allison Zhao.

In addition to Christian (composer, writer, movement) and Oliphant (director, movement), the creative team includes Mona Seyed-Bolorforosh and Jacklyn Riha (music direction), Nick Vaughan and Jake Margolin (environmental design), Brenda Abbandondolo (costume design), Masha Tsimring (lighting design), Nick Kourtides (sound design), Terry Dame (instrument fabricator), Darlene Christian (movement), Alice Leora Briggs, Koomah, Lovie (projected libretto illustrations), Kristin Marting (creative producer), and Amanda Cooper (line producer).

Featured In This Story