Composers Litha and Effy Efthymiou worked alongside historian Dr. Kati Ihnat from Bristol University to create and produce a new multimedia work for harpsichordist Jane Chapman, actor Esme Patey Ford and dancer Harriet Parker Beldeau, inspired by the musical ritual that celebrated the Virgin Mary in early medieval Spain. The work draws on Dr. Ihnat's current cutting-edge research uncovering how the 'Mary Ritual' was a loaded and powerful tool with which to shape and communicate male ideals for femininity. The piece engages with wider questions of gender identity that resonate strongly in the modern, secular world; exploring how prominent men used the figure of Mary to encourage particular behaviours in women.
The piece was performed at RWA in Bristol, Handel and Hendrix House in London, Turner Sims Southampton and Kings Place in London. It was funded by Brigstow Institute, Hinrichsen Foundation, and RVW Trust.