The Greening

The Greening… and the Blooming.


September 17th is the Feast Day of Saint Hildegard of Bingen. Of special significance this year is that it marks the passage of 840 years since her death.


Hildegard was a person of incredible energy, courage and creativity. As well as running a convent, Hildegard was a poet, composer, playwright, natural scientist, healer, visionary, artist and social reformer. This is all the more remarkable because she was a woman in the very male-dominated Europe of 12th century.


Last week Class 7 Kulbardi staged five performances of a play inspired by Hildegard’s life. Her biography had formed part of our studies of the Middle Ages earlier in the year. Through some very fine acting the children were able to bring to life episodes of her life and remarkable relationships. Excerpts of Hildegard’s writings, music and artwork were embedded throughout the play. Hildegard was a woman years ahead of her times, and her contribution to the world is still relevant today.


I would like to thank all those who helped bring this play together. Thank you to the parents who helped with ironing, washing, photography, filming, lighting and providing greenery. Thank you to Titus for making the crosses used, and to Evelyn for helping with learning the German song. Many thanks to Paul for helping us master the challenging and exquisite music of Hildegard. And a massive thank you to Sarah, who contributed so much to the performances, from constructing the set through to helping the actors develop greater expression and creating stunning costumes for the play.


Finally, I would like to thank the children for the way they stepped up to the challenge and brought the fascinating characters and events of 900 years ago to life. There were over 50 character parts (plus musicians) in the play, and with only 27 children that was a lot of complexity to carry and perform. I was so proud of the way they were able to do this and so touched by their commitment to the venture. The greatest complement I could give is that for me the spirit of Hildegard was there in the room with us at each performance.

Further Readings