TONGUE OF FIRE
photo by Willy Somma
Music SARAH KIRKLAND SNIDER
Dynamic, creative, and persuasive, Hildegard von Bingen became one of the most powerful women in Europe, founding two Abbeys, writing philosophical and medical treatises, composing sixty-nine pieces of music, and advising Emperors and pilgrims alike. Tongue of Fire will focus on her adult life, the years after she was released from the anchorage at Disibodenberg Monastery and went on her to record her remarkable visions, withstanding trials and convincing the Pope and clergymen of her time that she was not a heretic but a prophet. She found a way to have a very influential voice in a time when women were not allowed to have a voice at all. Hildegard’s music will be woven throughout the opera, and the dramatic crux of our story will be the moment in which the Church—seeking to punish her when she failed to follow an order—placed an interdict on her Abbey, banning music, which nearly broke her, until she found a way to overcome that, too.
Tongue of Fire was commissioned in part by the OPERA America Opera Grants for Female Composers award funded by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.
PRAISE FOR SARAH KIRKLAND SNIDER
“…one of the decade’s more gifted, up-and-coming modern classical composers.”
—Pitchfork, September 29, 2015
“Snider clearly has a lot to say that’s worth listening to…”
–Joshua Rosenblum, Opera News, February 2016