Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Blessed Cecilia

I attended a concert at the Amman Citadel Festival sponsored by the Friends of Jordan and the British Council. The Choir of London presented Blessed Cecilia featuring the Jordanian soprano Dima Bawab.

The story line is the the virgin Cecilia was captured during a Roman persecution as was imprisoned. For three days she sang continuously and to silence her, the Romans beheaded her on the fourth day. Her feast day is November 22 and she is the universal patron saint of musics.

The dramatic play re-enacts her torment in prison and is updated to include voices of Palestinians who were imprisoned in Israel.

Ironically, there was a portion of the play that called for ten minutes of silence to commemorate those who are unjustly imprisoned. While the soprano kneeled in silence, Amman's city lights appeared as if many eyes were gazing down upon her, and the silence wasn't complete as random gunshots and fire crackers were lit off all over the city. The paradox only heightened the tension as most people turn a blind eye to unjust suffering.

The performers were able to quite adeptly move the audience through their voices and the minimalistic acting that enhanced the drama.

I was so happy to:

1. hear such an important, professional production,
2. to listen to a concert in the Citadel that was built by the Romans over two millennia ago and to be where King David sent Uriah the Hittite to be killed in battle,
3. to see a group of middle class patrons who support the arts, and
4. to be with Dozaners and to see a few parishioners.

I wish more people were there to experience it.

To see photos of the concert, click on the link below:


  1. This sounds like an amazing experience. The pictures underline the minimalistic setting which would add to the drama. Thanks for sharing.

    1. There is another concert tonight, more contemporary, ballads, I think, but I cannot get the energy to go two nights in a row. The setting was spectacular.