*ONE NIGHT ONLY

BEOWULF:

Presented by Benjamin Bagby

Click to view the rest of our 25th Season

Feb. 27th

THE EPIC IN PERFORMANCE

*This one-of-a-kind evening of theatre is NOT included in Season Membership packages and is brought to you in cooperation with Brigit Saint Brigit, the University of Nebraska at Omaha Medieval/Renaissance Studies and the College of St. Mary.

Hwaet, we gar-dena   in gear-dagum

Theod-cyninga

 

So! In days gone by we war-Danes 

Were tribal kings…   

 

Who and what is Beowulf? He is the hero of an Anglo-Saxon poem of the same name, which survives in a single manuscript dated to the early eleventh century; but versions of the poem are likely to have been around for hundreds of years before that. It is written in Old English, the language used in England roughly between the years 500 to 1100 AD. This epic poem is the product of a people in political, religious, and cultural transition. Beowulf explores timeless themes of individual glory in conflict with corruptible institutions; the anxiety of encountering the unknown, the different, the monstrous; and the troubling inherent conflicts at the heart of a warrior culture. Is Grendel truly a monster? Or is he merely reacting to an unwelcome invasion of his homeland? Does the hero Beowulf’s lofgernost—his eager longing for glory—work to preserve his society? Or is it a fatal flaw that will ultimately destroy his world? Listen to the epic that inspired J. R. R. Tolkien’s tales of Middle Earth sung in its original, ancient language—this is an event that promises to be unlike anything you have ever experienced.

BRIEF BIO

Performed in the most prestigious venues all around the world:

            Paris—Musée de Cluny

            Yale University

            Princeton University

            New York City--Carnegie Hall

            Utrech Early Music Festival

            Boston Early Music Festival

            Moscow, Russia--Tchaikovsky Conservatory
 

Co-founder and Director of Sequentia Ensemble for Medieval Music, and as such one of the leading scholars of early music and the reconstructive performance of it. He is currently on the faculty of the Sorbonne University in Paris, where he teaches in the master’s program for medieval music performance practice. He is a leading scholar on not only the poem Beowulf, but also the cultural world in which it was created.

 

 

ABOUT THE PERFORMER

http://www.bagbybeowulf.com/index.html

SELECTED PRESS REVIEWS

“His chants and songs carry clear echoes of Gaelic music, sea shanties, Appalachian hill tunes and bluegrass numbers…The talking blues is in there too; at times, Bagby’s Beowulf doesn’t seem that far from early Bob Dylan. His one-man show is a surprise and a delight.” San Jose Mercury News

 

“Bagby’s imaginative re-creation of the Anglo-Saxon epic poem…is a double tour de force of scholarly excavation and artistic dynamism…Bagby conjures up drama as varied and enthralling as an MGM costume epic. Those old Saxons weren’t so very different from us after all—a lesson that Bagby’s enthralling work makes perfectly clear.” San Francisco Chronicle

 

“Mr. Bagby comes as close to holding hundreds of people in a spell as ever a man has... That is much too rare an experience in theater.”  The New York Times