On Saturday 18 November 2023, a special concert took place at the Domkerk in Utrecht. Maarten & Maarten, a modern miracle play with a ‘bite’. In a full Domkerk, there was something for young and old to enjoy in this new family theatre performance.
An exciting story following the celebration of Saint Martin a week earlier. With the help of the narrator Severus, young Martin goes in search of Martin of Tours, the bishop who later became Saint Martin. A journey through time, with experiences in 4th century, in the Middle Ages, in the Baroque era and today. And the ‘bite’ is of course in the way the encounter happens….
Supplemented by the most beautiful Saint Martin songs, sung by children from the Cathedral Choir School. And provided with matching organ music on two organs, Jan Hage played the monumental Bätz organ and Leander Schoormans made Orgelkids’ Do-organ sound. And how! With beautiful music and with surprising sounds to illustrate the story, such as the cackling geese.
Below is a video with beautiful moments from the performance and a photo reportage.
Besides the video, many beautiful photos were taken. Here is a selection. (Click on the photo for a larger view and to browse through the series.) Prior to the performance, there was an organ-building workshop, in which children assembled the Do-organ.
To be continued!
We would like to repeat this performance next year. In the Dom Church, but also elsewhere. Did you know that there are about 100 churches dedicated to Saint Martin? So we would like to challenge any church called ‘Martinikerk’ (Martini church) or ‘Maartenskerk’ (Martins church) to present this performance. Of course, this can also be done with your own choir and organists. We are happy to provide the materials and advice. Contact Orgelkids for more information.
The scenes in brief
SCENE 1 – The encounter
Martin meets storyteller Sulpicius Severus and makes it clear to him that he really doesn’t like the sweet and sanctimonious stuff surrounding the feast of Saint Martin. But ‘superfan’ Severus thinks very differently. He can tell him many more stories than the familiar one about that cloak, cut in two parts. And maybe he can even put Martin in touch with Martin in a journey through time. The music takes us back to the year 350.
SCENE 2 – Poor and rich
That very big leap in time was clearly too much. Martin even had to run for his life. Severus figures it would be better to do it in smaller steps. So he first takes Martin to the 18th century, a time with big differences between rich and poor. Martin does have an opinion on this.
SCENE 3 – Cloak and trade
Then we are ready for another step, a little further back in time. Which takes us into the Middle Ages. A time when people liked to believe in miracles and when superstition led to a lively trade in anything that might have belonged to St Martin. His cloak, also known as kappa, is traded in very small pieces and people are convinced they bring good luck. Martin is angered by so much commerce and deception.
SCENE 4 – The tree of the pagans
The next step back in time finally takes us back to the 4th century, the time when Martin lived. Perhaps Martin now has a better chance of meeting him. But…. Martinus is particularly attentive to anyone he wants to convert to Christianity. In doing so, he gets into serious trouble with pagans who want to worship their sacred tree. Would Martinus make it out alive?
SCENE 5 – Encounter?
Severus tells the rest of the story, about how Martinus fared in his battle with the pagans. And also great stories about situations where Martinus is made an example. But yes, Martin is not really satisfied, how that promissed meeting? Then Severus surprises him with his final story!
Musical excerpt from scene 2 (18th century)
Time period of the Baroque era, illustrated with J.S. Bach’s Passacaglia on the Doe organ, then taken over on the great organ.