Miryam is a heartfelt Christmas story told from the point of view of Mary (Miryam) and the midwives. Rachel, the innkeepers wife (a midwife) is instrumental at giving Miryam and Yoseph a place to stay. The composer, Mary Knickle researched Sephardic Jewish Customs, prayers and ways and incorporated these into the story. Sometimes this is subtle by the way in which Rachel speaks to either Yoseph or Miryam to more obvious customs in the prayer that Yoseph says while giving birth. Miryam’s song to God – challenging him is typical of the Jewish belief and right to always question God and the scriptures (based on when Moses broke the first tablets). Hints of Sephardic music are throughout the piece.Written for string quartet and voices, Miryam is too short to be called an Opera but it is very operatic like in that it has recitative and the accompaniment paints the background as well as the characters emotions. However it is easy to sing and is designed so that any community could put it on – perfect also for young singers.
Miryam is 24 minutes in length and is easily staged – everything is centred around a bench. It is also a perfect pair with Amahl and the Night Visitors.
Listen to Myriam full tracks
- I Sing of a Maiden
- A Mother’s Mind
- The Inn & Mismor L’todah
- So Strong so Soon
- The Birth
- Miryam’s Song
- Gently as a Whisper
- Finale – A Mother’s Love
SHEET MUSIC AVAILABLE
The entire score of Miryam will available soon. Please contact Mary to be informed when it is available for purchase.
Individual sheet music listed below:
Order of Musical Songs:
1. I Sing of a Maiden – one of the oldest medieval poems found regarding Mary.
2. A Mother’s Mind – Miryam and Yoseph journey into Bethlehem. It is hot in the desert as Miryam rides on a donkey, full term in pregnancy. The donkey stumbles. She sings of the journey and to her baby in the womb.
3. The Inn – Yoseph and Miryam arrive at the Inn. The Innkeeper tells them the Inn is full. His wife, Rachel, overhears. He insists no one is at the door. They struggle and the door opens. Rachel sees Miryam is pregnant and argues with him. The Inn Keepers Wife gives Miryam and Yoseph the stable despite her husband.
4. Mismor L’todah – 2000 years ago in the Sephardic Jewish culture Miryam and Yoseph very likely may have said this prayer of thanks after their long journey.
5. So Strong so Soon – Miryam feels strong birth pangs. Yoseph runs and gets the midwives repeating the only thing he can think of. The strings echo his franticness.
6. The Birth – two midwives, the innkeepers wife Rachel and her daughter Esther, come help Mary with the Birth. As Miryam cries out they laugh and say how easy this birth is compared to others. Outside Yoseph is chanting psalm 121 in Hebrew, a psalm commonly sung during and after birth in the jewish culture.
7. Miryam’s Song – Miryam feels the protective bond of a mother and wonders about God’s plans. She questions him, challenges him, reminding him that Yeshua is her son too. Exhausted, she falls asleep.
8. Gently as a Whisper – God’s response to Miryam’s song and exhaustion. He sends special angels, little children to Miryam. In this round they tell Yeshua to let his mother sleep and then kiss and caress Miryam as she is sleeping, lay their heads upon hers and tell her that she is so loved. Miryam awakens refreshed and feeling the joy of motherhood.
9. Finale – A Mother’s Love – a song of the greatest of all Mother’s love.