Journey to the East links two unique figures across the centuries: acclaimed early-music interpreter Jordi Savall and St. Francis Xavier, the 16th-century Jesuit missionary who traveled from the court of Lisbon to Mozambique, India, Malaysia, Japan, and China. In this epic musical journey, narrated by John Douglas Thompson, Savall directs Hespèrion XXI, La Capella Reial de Catalunya, and guest musicians as they trace the rich array of percussion, melodic instruments, and vocal styles Francis Xavier would have encountered on his route.
Ten years ago, when Lincoln Center initiated White Light Festival, this prismatic exploration of the arts, no one could have anticipated the impact it would have on audiences. For its 10th anniversary year, White Light Festival explores works that embody the human capacity for love and divine devotion, from Vivaldi’s Gloria and Wagner’s Tristan und Isoldeto James MacMillan’s Stabat Mater and Wynton Marsalis’s Abyssinian Mass. As always this season reflects the festival’s commitment to global voices and intersections of cultures. Whether experiencing Japanese bunraku, the musical journey tracing the Eastern travels of St. Francis Xavier, otherworldly folk singing from Georgia, or intoxicating Manganiyar tunes of the Rajasthani desert, you will encounter varied expressions of the human condition.
Jordi Savall, director
John Douglas Thompson, narrator
La Capella Reial de Catalunya
(Japan) Junko Ueda, voice and biwa; Ichiro Seki, shakuhachi; Masako Hirao, bass viol; Hiroyuki Koinuma, shinobue and nokan
(India) Prabhu Edouard, tablas
(Afghanistan) Daud Sadozai, sarod
Sung in Spanish, German, Latin, Provençal, Japanese, and Chinese with English supertitles
Performance length: Two hours, including intermission
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