“In You rejoices all the creation ”
Franghias Kavertsas (from 1615 to 1648), Crete.
58 cmx 55cm / Le Petit Palais, Musée des Beaux-arts de la Ville de Paris
« Sing the Icon » is a new work inspired by the Cretan icon « In You rejoices all the creation ».
Commissioned from the composer Michel Petrossian for the opening of the new room Fondation Sisley-d’Ornano dedicated to the Eastern Christian arts in the Paris Fine Arts Museum (Petit Palais).
Masterwork of this collection, this icon is a pictorial translation of an old Byzantine hymn attributed to St John Damascus.
With the help of Dr Alexander Lingas, reader at City University London and a specialist in Byzantine music, Michel Petrossian discovered the 1st musical setting of this hymn, which inspired him to create this new work.
« Sing the Icon » is a multidisciplinary musical, artistic, literary and spiritual work.
The whole performance is an explanation and a step by step unveiling of the icon, guided by Raphaëlle Ziadé (curator for the Byzantine Fund in Paris Fine Arts Museum) using a poetic text linked to the music.
Pictures of the icon are revisited, animated and projected by film maker Samuel Bester during the performance.
The musical performance is by Musicatreize (conductor: Roland Hayrabedian), with the same number of singers as the angels around Mary in the icon.
This new performing arts concept pulled together a composer, an art historian, a conductor and a film maker, all addressing spirituality, for a very daring pluridisciplinary artistic endeavour!
« Sing the icon » draws its material from the roots of European civilization, with our double spiritual legacy, biblical Judeo-Christian and Greek-Latin
It echoes with a strong influence of the Byzantine liturgy, as well as the Slavonic, Armenian and Ethiopian liturgies. Inspired by our centuries-old cultural heritage, the work opens new vistas.
« Sing the icon » is fed by the following cultural springs:
A religious hymn written in Damascus, set to music in Byzance, to the glory of an icon crafted in a Crete under Venitian power, in the perspective of the two Jerusalems (celestial and terrestrial), created in Paris.
« Sing the icon » is for you
For an audience that is cultivated, open to the world, ready to dig into the mysteries behind our lives and the evolution of our civilization, this performance celebrates the vitality and the power of old masterworks as inspiring significant new works, definitely modern while linked with a centuries-old tradition. Adding a fresh note and a multiple artistic approach to age-old works and artistry, « Sing the icon » vibrates at the point where scientific research and artistic creation intersect.
Petit-Palais Museum, Musicatreize and Centre Voce of musical creation of Pigna / CNCM. With the support of the Meyer Foundation
27 January 2018 – National centre of musical creation of Pigna (Corsica)
2 February 2018 – Musicatreize Hall, Marseilles
3 February 2018 – Petit Palais, Paris
9 April 2019 – Le Méjan, Arles
10 April 2019 – Musicatreize Hall, Marseilles
12 April 2019 – The Couvent des Minimes, Pourrières