The Decameron

A musical drama performance of sensual love and full-bodied comedy.

Based on the novel by Giovanni Boccaccio

Let us gather together one last day to entertain ourselves with music, dance and games. 

Director: Benoît Malmberg

Music: Orazio Vecchie, Orlando di Lasso, Rossino Mantovano

Boccaccio’s Decamerone from 1353 is still one of the most perceptive and daring works in history. In this production Romeo & Julia Kören explores some of the very best novellas from this collection of sassy, challenging and amusing stories. The stories are  interspersed with music by the masters of the Renaissance, music composed to entertain royalty and courtiers.

A group of men and women flee from plague-ridden Florence and to pass the time they tell each other stories, sing and dance. Tales of erotic adventures and lovesick escapades are staged in the physical comedy style of commedia dell’arte. Combined with festive music, The Decameron is a burlesque, dramatic concert in Romeo & Julia Kören’s significant style of performance.

Romeo & Julia Kören’s The Decameron has rendered great success worldwide for more than ten years.

The production is adaptable to almost any venue and can be tailored to fit specific occasions. The stories and the music in The Decameron can be varied and therefore also the size of the ensemble from six to twelve singers accompanied by chitarrone, renaissance lute and percussion instruments.

 

Giovanni Boccaccio (1313 – 1375) writer, born out of wedlock in Florence. and He studied law and settled in Naples and fell in love with the Countess Maria d’Aquino who presented him to court life with its cultural cultivation. In this rich setting Boccaccio found inspiration for his writings.

Boccaccio’s most famous work, The Decameron (1353), is a collection of short stories which wich made him known to the afterworld as the originator of the short story genre.

In the sharply rendered details, Boccaccio paints all kinds of adventures and escapades. We meet simple-minded men who are cleverly deceived by their wives as well as church servants who succumb to sensuous, sinful love. Boccaccio wanted to both entertain and provoke his contemporary readers and despite the 700 years gone by, his stories are still current.


PRESS

The Decameron abounds with beautiful, seductive ladies, gullible men, hypocritical priests and monks, kings and mighty shrewd grooms, all signed with masterful hand, with sumptuous humor, light irony, human warmth and teller’s joy.    […] Bravo! Belissimo, we in the audience say. So beautiful to the eye and ear and in a good mood most obscene stories are told in well-jung spirit by six men and six ladies in beautiful costumes. To the accompaniment of drums and theorbo, the choir members moved gracefully around while euphony streamed toward us.

           Leif A Jansson | Jönköpingsposten (Sweden)

Playful SUPREME  contact with the audience […]
The special feature that Romeo & Julia Kören has developed is a full-fledged musical genre that combines singing, scenic narrative and choreography. […] The result is a playful performance, with excellent audience contact and a twinkle in the eye. […] Romeo & Julia Kören is a very skilled ensemble with a wide range of expression from easy and popular to the elevated sacred. But it is above all the theatrical storytelling I am most impressed by. The singers / actors have a strong stage presence and are not afraid to go the whole hog and offer burlesque humor. There is, of course, just as in Boccaccio, an underlying seriousness. The stories can be about how to draw just over the class-getter at the nose of the Church and the power of double standards and, not least, here is a clear feminist angle, obvious at a time when forced marriage and reasoning marriages were common, and the status of women completely subordinate. It’s a fun and different performance, full of joy and sensuality.
Gregor Flakierski | Allehanda (Sweden)

/ … / this both entertaining and thought-provoking performance which cross borders and hardly fit into any genre. It is in any case more a musical theater than a regular concert, where choral singing, scenic narrative and choreography interacts intimately.

Hallands Nyheter (Sweden)

With an extensive musical vocal art renaissance tones was utilized, French baroque and burlesque folk songs as well. This exquisitely performed music used simultaneously in a theatrical narrative of jealous situations and hearty love exercises. The mix of song, dance and theater in beautiful costume rings requires no special knowledge of Boccaccio’s short story collection “The Decameron”. Everything was affectionate, from the sublime to the mundane, and the solos as well as ensemble singing were top class.
Lage Olsson | Barometern (Sweden)

A choir experience beyond the ordinary. […] Romeo & Julia Kören offered first-class entertainment […] it was a night that opened all senses, the performance did not miss anything. […] I have rarely seen so much fun and effective acting with such small gestures and manners. And this combined with a sensual choral sound with a wide musical emotional palette. […] This was the first time the Romeo & Julia Kören appeared in Skovde. May it not be the last!

Bo Borg | Skaraborgs Allehanda  (Sweden)

 

Romeo & Julia Kören bild på Decamerone