What's playing on this page:

Act III opens with a harsh flash of light as Composer Eve Beglarian runs from the Devils (the other three Hildegurls covered in black shrouds) who tear at her from the shadowed corners of the stage. She escapes and lies "bedraggled and penitent" on center stage—a disc from which smoke and red light emit (see stage diagram) where she invokes the Virtues.

As she invokes them the Hildegurls transform one by one from Devils into Virtues, representing the Soul's inner change. Lisa Bielawa is the first to transform and responds to the Soul's initial invocation with encouraging words. The pure sound of Lisa's voice and the cessation of the hellish background Beglarian has created—electronic artifacts, rattler samples (representing the Devil throughout Act III), hissing, smacking, cries and moans of the Hildegurl-Devils, and the mangled remnants of a violent orgiastic session (see interview)—allow the listener to a powerful musical experience of the relief the Virtues offer the Soul.

Just as the snake sound represents the Devil in Beglarian's orchestration of Hildegard's chant melodies in Act III, so does Robin Lorentz's expressive violin represent the Soul and a Beglarian-created proto-harp, the Virtues. Beglarian accords Hildegard's own prescription that each character have its own instrumental identity.




Heu, heu, nos Virtutes plangamus et lugeamus, quia ovis domini fugit vitam! Querela

Alas! Alas! Let us Virtues complain loudly and mourn, because a sheep of the Lord has fled from life.

Anime penitentis et Virtutes invocantis:

Soul, Penitent and Invoking the Virtues:

O vos regales Virtutes, quam speciose et quam fulgentes estis in summo sole, et quam dulcis est vestra mansio et ideo, o ve michi, quia a vobis fugi!

O you regal Virtues how beautiful and how shining you are in the highest sun, and how sweet is your dwelling, and therefore, O woe is me, because from you I fled.

Virtutes [Scientia Dei]: A Virtue (Knowledge of God):
O fugitive, veni, veni ad nos, et deus suscipiet te. O fugitive, come, come to us, and God will lift you up.