by Jarrett Hoffman
The next concert from Les Délices is indeed about gods and heroes, built around 14th-century songs referencing characters such as Jason and Medea, Ulysses and Circe, and Tristan and Isolde.
But if you’re familiar with artistic director Debra Nagy, who makes a habit of crafting programs both musically and intellectually stimulating, you won’t be surprised that there’s more to these selections than just mythology.
The central idea behind the program — to be presented live February 25-27 in Shaker Heights and Akron — is something more meta. “The funny thing about these 14th-century translations is that they’re not so much about the characters, but about seeing yourself in them, or contrasting your experience with theirs,” Nagy said during a recent Zoom call. “There’s a sense of timeless relatability.”
That timelessness ties into another aspect of the program: the integration of contemporary poetry, including a new poem by former Ohio Poet Laureate Dave Lucas on commission from the ensemble. “A lot of his work draws on or is inspired by myth and storytelling,” Nagy said.