Through projected shadow puppetry and multi-channel sound sculpture, Celestina brings the museum’s early sixteenth-century Vélez Blanco patio to life, retelling the story of the celebrated, contemporaneous Spanish novel La Celestina, among the marble statues and behind the shuttered windows of the castle courtyard.
The tragic fate of lovers Calisto and Melibea, and bawdy schemes of the procuress and witch Celestina, are recounted in snatches of rumor and gossip by an ensemble of voices whose idle speculation blends with fragments of 16th-century villancicos and Judeo-Spanish folk music. Meanwhile the unraveling tragicomedy can be glimpsed through the windows of the castle, as shadowy figures engage in secretive trysts, hatch schemes and exact cold-blooded revenge on one another.
Celestina was on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art from March 20-29, 2015.
Created by ERRATICA
Written and Directed by Patrick Eakin Young
Composed by Matt Rogers, with some additional arrangement by Victoria Couper and James Halliday
Video Design and Shadow Puppetry by Manual Cinema
“One of the most intriguing productions this spring. . .”
Russell Platt, The New Yorker March, 2015