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03 February 2020 (Mon), 19:00 Tchaikovsky Concert Hall - Stars of the Stars  Opera "Leylâ and Majnûn" or "The Mystic Love" - an oratorio mundi by Armand Amar

Running time: 1 hour 10 minutes (till 20:10)

Schedule for "Leylâ and Majnûn" or "The Mystic Love" - an oratorio mundi by Armand Amar 2020

Composer: Armand Amar

The Legend

The story of Majnûn and Leylâ is one of mad, absolute love between a man and a woman, a poet and a legendary beauty. It is also a story which goes beyond physical love to celebrate mystic love. Leylâ becomes the symbol of the phany, the embodiment of God’s beauty in the world and Majnûn is the human soul, so enamoured of his Beloved that he goes mad, wandering through the desert searching for a sign of her. It is the tale of an endless quest for beauty, for oneself and for God. Recited throughout the Muslim East, Majnûn’s love exalts the eternal woman as a manifestation of the Divine. Of all the love stories born of Islamic culture, the story of Majnûn and Leylâ is one of the most famous and most celebrated. From the scattered tales that eventually formed the legend of Majnûn, there emerges a man named Qays (he would only later receive the title “Majnûn” which signifies madman and which would become his name) who was madly in love with a woman, Leylâ. Overcome by Leylâ’s beauty and his love for her, he sang of this love for all to hear, thus falling guilty of tashbîb and forever condemning himself to separation. For even though the story shows that Majnûn and Leylâ are free, during the first century of Islam, to meet, to see each other, to speak to each other, even at night and alone, it is nonetheless the case that the public poems celebrating the beauty of the eloved are seen by Leylâ’s father as an unforgivable crime, a dishonour which forever closes the door to the possibility of marriage discussions between the two amilies. Yet Majnûn has everything in his favour: beauty, intelligence, social position, riches and the gift of poetry that is the very foundation of love. Forced separation and not being able to see or speak to Leylâ plunge Majnûn into madness: rejecting social life in every way, he sets off into the desert, refusing to dress and eat, living in symbiosis with the animals, especially the gazelles which remind him of his beloved, wandering endlessly in the utter void which represents the absence of his loved one, filling his solitude only with poetry. These poems make up the lyric compilation of Majnûn, Possessed by Madness for Leylâ, a work where incandescent love continuously shatters the codes of reason, where the power of metaphor endlessly seeks to bring back Leylâ, the absent lover, lost, dreamed of. Later, Persian and Turkish authors would write novels in verse to tell, each in his own way and according to his own imagination, the legend of Majnûn.

Schedule for "Leylâ and Majnûn" or "The Mystic Love" - an oratorio mundi by Armand Amar 2020

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