Fellowship for Performing Arts-- A Theatrical Christmas Celebration

The Fellowship for Performing Arts , a Christian theatrical group, is offering a special Christmas program of new, short plays inspired by scriptures about Christmas and heartwarming songs of the season performed by stars from the worlds of Broadway and Opera. Great for the whole family.

Registration is required but is free. The program will be available online Dec. 12 through Jan. 2

Learn more and register here


Do you know James Yaegashi perchance?

I think it is great that there are Christian artists using their talents. It reminds me how at least part of culture has changed towards a better direction during the last two millennia. If I remember right, the Apostolic tradition by Hippolytus instructed that if someone acting in a theater would like to be baptized, that person should be rejected - not a suitable profession for a Christian.

It is also a reminder that the old instructions had their background. Without understanding the background and the reasons behind the instructions, we get a wrong impression and frame for proper behavioral rules.


No. Who is he?

He is the son of a dear friend and whom I last saw when he was a child in Japan, some 39 years ago. I think he may attend an Episcopal church in NYC. He is accumulating a fair body of work.

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Probably varied from place to place. In some places musicians were denied the sacraments of the church. (Interesting fact: until Beethoven came along, musicians were considered to be servants, even Franz Joseph Haydn wore livery!)

These days our main connection to Christian plays is nativity pageants with cute kids, but the church has deep roots in staged performances. In medieval days, actors and musicians would perform “miracle plays” outside on the church steps. One popular play was the “Play of Daniel - Balthasar’s Feast.” It was written in the late 12th century by the choir members (men and boys) of the cathedral in Beauvais.
The prologue says,

In your honor, Christ,
this play of Daniel
was created in Beauvais
and the youth created it.

Watch an excerpt

of this colorful and tuneful play!

Reminiscent of (or one of many precedents to ; - ) Bach’s SDG.

(We’ve been to The Cloisters once – loved it! We’d go more often but it’s 1400 mi. ; - )

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C. P. E. Bach is the first that I am aware of to have been essentially independent from an overlord in composing music, however, he was still a direct servant of Frederick the Great for performing (not anything of his own, that was too modern for Frederick’s tastes).

I read Thayer’s Life of Beethoven in high school. (I went to high school with Lucy.) Beethoven was adored and appreciated when he was still alive so I think that gave him some leverage. I have a Beethoven lecture coming up this coming week!

btw, have you ever heard his magnificent Missa Solemnis? If not you really need to hear it

Frederick was Not So Great

Great in terms of success as a leader, less so in other regards. But most people will recognize “Frederick the Great” faster than “Frederick II, King of Prussia and Elector of Brandenburg”.

A book you would really enjoy is:

Beethoven’s Hair: An Extraordinary Historical Odyssey and a Scientific Mystery Solved

It’s a historical story concerning both Beethoven and science. What’s not to like?

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