The Dream of the Rood

The Dream of the Rood is a beautiful but little-known Anglo-Saxon poem in which a man dreams that the Cross of Christ speaks to him, recounting how he was chosen, uprooted, and hewn into the gallows upon which Christ was hung.  

 

All the events and emotions of the Passion of Christ are shown through the experience of the Rood. We see a distinctly Anglo-Saxon Christ: a warrior, fighting valiantly for mankind. 

 

In this setting of the poem, the words of the ‘dreamer’ were chanted in the original Anglo-Saxon, and the words of the Rood were read in modern English.  

 

Both were interspersed with musical settings of ‘responses’ to the events described; some were original, and some were settings of  existing Anglo-Saxon and Middle English poems. The music was sung by a four-part unaccompanied choir. 

 

First performed in the St James’ Church, Spanish Place in 2011.

‘a pensive and well-informed production.’

 

OREMUS MAGAZINE, MAY 2011

Cast:

 

The Dreamer      -   Bragi Arnasson

 

Choir:                -   Vicky Riding

                        -   Nicholas Wibberley

                        -   Hugo Walker

                        -   Dominic Dowbekin

 

Reader              -   Sharon Jennings 

'Amongst this existential understanding of the poem the songs, composed especially by Sharon Jennings for the production, deserve special praise, as do the choir.'

 

OREMUS MAGAZINE, MAY 2011

'The unique way in which the poem was deconstructed and expanded upon is something I believe the author would have been delighted to see. Sharon Jennings has managed to capture the mystery of the poem.'

 

OREMUS MAGAZINE, MAY 2011

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