GEMS Presents THE PLAY OF DANIEL at the Cloisters, Now thru 1/20


Over two weekends in January, twelve intrepid groups of musical travelers will be transported eight centuries back in time to experience The Play of Daniel in the unique environs of The Cloisters Museum and Gardens, the branch of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe. Concerts at The Cloisters will present The Play of Daniel in the Fuentidueña Chapel at The Cloisters - 99 Margaret Corbin Drive, Fort Tryon Park, in Manhattan - Fridays through Sundays, today, January 11th-13th and 18th-20th, 2013, with two performances each day, at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. Tickets are $75.

Gotham Early Music Scene (GEMS) will reassemble this musical time machine with the same creative team responsible for sold-out performances at The Cloisters in 2008. That staging commemorated the 50th anniversary of the work's modern premiere in 1958, also at The Cloisters, by Noah Greenberg and New York Pro Musica, widely regarded as a seminal event in the North American early music movement. Once again, audiences will journey to the late 1100's, when The Play of Daniel came into existence, planting the seeds for the flowering of opera four centuries later.

This 12-performance run of The Play of Daniel will be the culmination of a series of celebratory concerts in honor of GEMS' fifth anniversary.

Age-old issues of politics and power will resonate with modern audiences in an elaborate, fully-staged production, with singers, instruments, dancers, scenery, costumes and lighting. The Play of Daniel tells two stories from the Old Testament, from Chapters 5 and 6 of the Book of Daniel: Belshazzar's Feast, in which Daniel interprets the infamous "handwriting on the wall"; and his being sentenced to death in the Lions' Den, from which he is rescued by an angel.

"For modern audiences, the play offers a timeless look at the consequences of 'speaking truth to power,'" says Gene Murrow, Executive Director of GEMS, "as well as an important moment in the history of musical story-telling that would ultimately lead to the development of opera. Working with the diverse talents and resources available in New York's early music community to present The Play of Daniel is, in many respects, the perfect example of what GEMS is all about."

A Gotham Early Music Scene production
Presented by Concerts at The Cloisters
Mary Anne Ballard and Drew Minter, directors
The Cloisters Museum and Gardens, a branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art
99 Margaret Corbin Drive, Fort Tryon Park, Manhattan
Fridays through Sundays, January 11th-13th and 18th-20th 2013
Performances each day, at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
Tickets are $75, available at the Concerts and Lectures kiosk in the Great Hall of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Fifth Avenue and 82nd Street); by phone at 212/650-2290,
or online HERE.
Seating is limited.