Je Veux Vivre – track 10 from my album Songs From Our Balcony is from the Opera Romeo and Juliet, adapted from Shakespeare’s play of the same name. I enjoyed having the opportunity of performing the role of Juliet for Arcadian Opera and recording this track brought fond memories.
Whilst researching ‘Je Veux Vivre’ for my blog post today it got me to question how Easter was celebrated in Shakespeare’s time. Normally I would celebrate with family and friends but as we are still unable to mix socially, I was restricted to early morning facetime calls. I then spent a little time painting eggs and a lot of time reflecting on the past year.
I read that Easter celebrations during the Elizabethan Era shared many similarities to those of today. Many would attend church to participate in religious celebrations and return home to share abundant feasts with family. By the time Easter arrived, many were excited to celebrate because they had been fasting for the 40 days of Lent which preceded it.
Almost everyone in England in Shakespeare’s day was Christian. Most people would attend church. During my research, I read that many people would wear new clothes on Easter Sunday to celebrate the spiritual rebirth and new beginnings. This tradition can be traced back to the Roman Emperor Constantine who released a decree that required his court to wear their most luxurious clothing on Easter Sunday. However, a popular superstition began circulating in response, that wearing new clothes before Easter Sunday would bring you bad luck. which Shakespeare alludes to in Romeo and Juliet when Mercutio asks Benvolio “Didst though not fall out with a tailor for wearing his new doublet before Easter.”
I must admit that for me looking to the future is what motivates me and keeps me sane. There is so much good within humanity that I often wonder why the media has to focus so much time and attention on the negative things that happen in the world. Far better to celebrate all the acts of kindness and generosity that are all around us each and every day. I for one am grateful to all the people who have reached out to me over the past twelve months offering, support, guidance, humour, and friendship. This pandemic and its restrictions would have been so much harder without you all, Thank You 😊