‘Hildegard: Visions' is an immersive mystery opera by Nwando Ebizie, inspired by the works and life of Hildegard von Bingen. A multisensory experience of sound, movement, scent and taste, it will combine song, electronic soundscapes and ritual traditions from across cultures and eras.
Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179), Benedictine abbess, composer, visual artist, writer and mystic; not only a visionary, but also, uniquely for the time, a woman whose visions were recorded and preserved in musical scores, writings and illuminated manuscripts‚ lives again in new form. Each visitor is invited to look back at her in wonder and forwards in awe.The audience experience will be radically inclusive, welcoming visitors on an immersive and transformative day-long journey from an apothecary garden, through a guided visualisation, sound and light installations, communal dinner, procession and final ecstatic live performance.
We have supported the development of this work through our Various Stages 2020 Festival and co-producing an installation at East Street Arts in 2021, followed by a full commission in 2022. In 2023 we've co-produced an R&D residency in partnership with Britten-Pears Arts and a presentation of the installation Extreme Unction Vol.2 at 'What Shall We Build Here?', Artsadmin’s festival of art, climate and community from 28 June – 1 July 2023. We're now developing the work for a full premiere in 2025.
"Your thoughts suddenly realise how loud they had become trying to compete with life’s noise, and they quieten down. You realise: you are not waiting as you would for a train or a bus or a coffee, but you are feeling... Just going once in a lifetime was a privilege."
Cian Kinsella, Metal Magazine review of 'Extreme Unction Vol. 2'
"A sense of irrepressible imagination and ambition"
Robert Barry, The Wire review of 'Extreme Unction Vol. 2'