Daniel: A Medieval Masterpiece Revisited

The Boston Camerata, Te Deum, and Lawrence Children's Choir Come Together for a One-Time Performance

Sir Peter Paul Rubens, Daniel in the Lions’ Den

The Friends of Chamber Music present the Boston Camerata’s performance of The Play of Daniel at 7:30 PM on Friday, January 19 at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral. The Play of Daniel will feature local choir Te Duem (under the direction of Matthew Shepard) and the Lawrence Children’s Choir (under the direction of Carolyn Welch). This medieval mystery play tells the biblical story of Daniel. From standing up to bullies to overcoming the lions’ den, Daniel is an underdog hero of the ages.

Medieval Mystery Plays

Medieval mystery plays were performed in or near the churches and cathedrals of Europe in the Middle Ages. They were extremely popular as both entertainment and as a means of instructing a largely-illiterate population about Bible stories and Church teachings. These extraordinary and vivid examples of sung musical theater, centuries before the birth of modern opera.

The Play of Daniel

One of the most beautiful and colorful of these works is the 13th century Ludus Danielis (Play of Daniel). It was intended for and performed by the young clerks of Beauvais, France. Since Daniel was presented at the year’s end, it combines deep seriousness with elements of seasonal celebration, most notably in the underdog story of Daniel standing up to the mighty kings of Babylon and Persia. It also contains a wonderful series of catchy, hummable melodies in contrast with more austere Gregorian chant heard during the rest of the church year.

The Boston Camerata’s Production

Anne Azéma, Artistic Director, is a world-famous medievalist. She has prepared a new edition based on the original manuscript and has conceive a new staging, custom tailored to each venue where the piece is performed, is a medieval-inspired architectural masterpiece in its own right. The combination of Anne’s scholarship and creativity, a superb enlarged cast involving different musicians (professionals and amateurs), lighting, and minimal costumes, make the Camerata’s Daniel an outstanding event.

About the Boston Camerata

The Boston Camerata is America’s preeminent early music ensemble. Founded in 1954, The Boston Camerata has been under the direction of French-born singer and scholar Anne Azéma since autumn, 2008. Camerata’s musical performances are well known for their blending of spontaneity and emotional commitment with careful research and scholarship. With its distinguished roster of singers and specialists in early instruments, Camerata produces an in-town concert series for audiences in the Greater Boston area. The Boston Camerata also tours regularly in the US and all over the world. These live performances present vital, historically informed performances of European music of the Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque eras, and of early American music, sacred and secular. The Camerata’s many LP and CD recordings, as well as its numerous media appearances and educational projects, have brought its work to audiences in every continent. Learn more about the Boston Camerata on their website.

About Anne Azéma, Artistic Director for the Boston Camerata

​French born vocalist Anne Azéma is the Artistic Director of The Boston Camerata. She also directs the Europe-based Ensemble Aziman. She has been acclaimed by critics on five continents for her original, passionate, and vivid approach to songs and texts of the Middle Ages. De Volkskrant, an Amsterdam publication, noted that “Azéma is, in her genre, as great as Callas or Fischer Dieskau.”Anne Azéma has also been widely praised in many other repertoires, from Renaissance lute songs to Baroque sacred music to twentieth-century music theatre.

About Te Deum

Te Deum was founded by Matthew Christopher Shepard in the fall of 2008 as a way to fulfill an expressed need by both singers and audiences in the Kansas City area to present sacred choral music concerts of the highest quality. The Te Deum Chamber Choir performed its first concert in spring 2009. Since then, the chamber choir has built an expressive and varied repertoire that spans centuries of time and wide ranges of composition style. The success of Te Deum Chamber Choir’s participation of a performance of Bach’s Mass in B Minor in 2013 prompted the formation of a second ensemble solely dedicated to early music performances. Te Deum Antiqua performed its debut concert in the fall of 2013. Learn more about Te Deum on their website.

About the Lawrence Children’s Choir

Founded in 1991 by sisters Janeal Crabb Krehbiel and Marilyn Crabb Epp, the Lawrence Children’s Choir has grown from one 40-voice choir to an organization comprised of six choirs serving approximately 250 singers from Northeast Kansas, including the communities of Lawrence, Perry, Emporia, Osage City, Topeka, Baldwin City and Eudora. Current choirs include Capo, for preschool-kindergarten students; Cadenza, for kindergarten-3rd grade students; Choristers for 3rd-6th grade students; Tour Choir for 5th-10th grade students; the Ambassador Choir for 8th-10th grade students, and the Crescendo Choir, for senior citizens. Upon Janeal Krehbiel’s retirement in April, 2012, long-time assistant Carolyn Welch assumed the position of Artistic Director. Learn more about the Lawrence Children’s Choir on their website.


To purchase tickets, please visit the Friends of Chamber Music’s website.