‘Feathers’ looks into inspiring story of saint.
Stacy Nick, writer for The Coloradoan
July 18, 2013
‘Feathers on the Breath of God,’ written and staring Jeannine Goode-Allen, follows
the inspirational tale of St. Hildegard von Bingen. / Courtesy of Rebekah West.
It’s not every day that a musical with tap dancing 12th-century nuns comes through town.
Then again, St. Hildegard von Bingen wasn’t your ordinary nun.
Last year, Hildegard was named a saint and Doctor of the Church by Pope Benedict XVI. The 12th-century mystic was respected by her Pope, built two abbeys and preached openly as a woman during a time when it was unheard of for a woman to have any power, said Jeannine Goode-Allen, writer and star of “Feathers on the Breath of God.”
The musical about the life and impact of the saint, comes to Fort Collins’ Bas Bleu Theatre on Thursday.
Goode-Allen, a Boulder-based, classical singer, said she found her own voice in the songs of the saint. She wanted to share Hildegard’s story.
That’s not to say that it was easy. Goode-Allen built a studio to rehearse in and began a two-year collaboration with director David Sharp and musician Gary Grundei. And while she’d sung most of her life, Goode-Allen also enlisted the help of a vocal coach and studied Latin. It’s one thing to sing; it’s another to master Hildegard, she said.
But despite the struggle, Goode-Allen said there was always a feeling that comparatively, anything she would attempt would be easy, or at least easier, than Hildegard had it.
The show also is a lot more than just the performance. The pre-show “marinade,” as Goode-Allen calls it, includes an art exhibit, the chance to sample some of Hildegard’s remedies of parsley heart wine and nerve cookies, meet the cast and get a better understanding about the show.
Except the tap dancing.
“You just have to experience that one to really get it,” Goode-Allen said. “But (Hildegard) would have loved that — it’s that idea that you can do anything.”