Thursday, 6 March 2014

The Mystery Play of Elche, Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The Mystery Play of Elche is a sacred musical drama of the death, the passage into heaven and the crowning of the Virgin Mary. Since the mid-fifteenth century it has been performed in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Elche. It is a living testimony of European religious theatre of the Middle Ages.
This old theatrical performance, which is entirely sung, comprises two acts, on 14 and 15 August. The texts are in Valencian language and Latin. Ancient aerial machinery is used to enhance the spectacle.

Photo of The Wide World Magazine (1900)
Photo of The Wide World Magazine (1900)

Photo of The Wide World Magazine (1900)
Photo of The Wide World Magazine (1900)
Access to the Basilica, both on the 14th and 15th, is free, with its doors remaining wide open. However, due to the popularity of the play, it is essential to arrive at the church several hours in advance.
On the 11th, 12th and 13th August, open rehearsals take place, when the whole performance is concentrated into a single day, and which may be enjoyed by purchasing a ticket. In addition, in even-numbered years, there are extra ticketed performances on the 29th, 30th October and free access on the 1st November.

More than 300 volunteers take part in the performance each year as actors, singers, stage directors, stagehands, tailors and stewards. This tradition was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (UNESCO).

Ternari song video

UNESCO video

Practical tips:
The Mystery Play of Elche isn´t short, so the whole representation might not be the best option with small children (and for the people that don´t like this kind of  music). But the Mistery Play of Elche is really something extraordinary, and at least, you could take advantage of the open doors on the 14th and 15th August to take a look.

When the representation begins the temperature is still hot, so it´s a good idea to carry a hand fan and a bottlel of water.
And finally it´s highly recommended to get the guide of the representation, to better understand the scenes and songs.

Link to get the guide of the representation.
Photo of The Wide World Magazine (1900)
Photo of The Wide World Magazine (1900)

No comments:

Post a Comment