The Pilgrim’s Progress
Opera by Ralph Vaughan Williams
October & November 2017
Gloriæ Dei Cantores and Elements Theatre Company presented Ralph Vaughan Williams’ opera, The Pilgrim’s Progress, fully staged with orchestra and guest soloists at the Church of the Transfiguration, Orleans, MA. For the first time in twelve years, the production returned to a New England stage. The opera was the culminating event of an international symposium, “The Arts and Ecumenism,” commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. The Pilgrim’s Progress drew audience members from across the country and abroad, into a timeless story portraying the universal journey of humanity’s search for spiritual redemption. Sponsored in part by the Ralph Vaughan Williams Charitable Trust of London, it was be the first fully-staged performance of the opera worldwide since it was performed by the English National Opera company at the London Coliseum in 2012.
The Pilgrim’s Progress is the culmination of 45 years of Vaughan Williams’ musical journey. It’s the ultimate expression of the wide variety of his musical style, exhibiting fabulous transparency of orchestration and a luminous sound.
Set at the Church of the Transfiguration, this rarely performed opera depicted every man’s journey on earth, and came to life amidst frescoes, mosaics, bronze, glasswork and stone carvings depicting the story of mans salvation from Genesis to Revelation.