Projects

Though Musica Universalis is certainly no stranger to formal concerts, we very much enjoy collaborating with artists from other disciplines to create performances with dimensions beyond the usual setting of a band on stage in front of a seated audience. These are some of our favorite recent collaborations. You’ll also find information here about new projects as we develop them.

Piercing the Veil:
A Samhain Celebration

Photo: Joe Cantrell

Piercing the Veil is a musical and theatrical exploration of the Celtic origins of Halloween. Featuring the music of Musica Universalis, puppetry by Birdie Amico and Keziah Peterson of Kettlehead Studios, and performance by Briana Ratterman, the show, directed by Štěpán Šimek, weaves together a tapestry of stories from the vast body Irish mythology reenacted by original puppets with music, songs, and poetry.

Piercing the Veil ran for two sold-out weeks in October 2023.

Jean-Luc Boucherot as François Villon

Danse Macabre: The Testament of François Villon

Photo: Sarah Marguier

Written by director Štěpán Šimek and actor Jean-Luc Boucherot, Danse Macabre is based on the work of François Villon, the 15th-century French poet, rabble-rouser, and thief. In this one-actor play, Boucherot performs poetry in both French and English from Le Testament, Villon’s monumental, autobiographical work written in 1461. The play also features dancer Briana Ratterman, who inhabits a life-sized figure of Death that both shadows and inspires the poet. Musica Universalis’s live score includes music of Villon’s time, along with settings of his poetry by modern composers including Kurt Weill and Georges Brassens.

Danse Macabre was created in 2019 and 2020, only to be shut down by the COVID-19 pandemic on the afternoon of opening night. The show was resurrected for a very successful run in the fall of 2021.

Click or touch for a gallery of photos from the show.

Krampus Unplugged: The Gritty Tales of St. Nicholas

Krampus Unplugged delved into the origins of St. Nicholas and his less-benign sidekick, the rather deranged Krampus. For this presentation in December 2021, Musica Universalis collaborated with Portland puppeteers and storytellers Shuhe Hawkins and Katherine Larsen for an evening of storytelling, shadow puppets, music, fact, and folklore.