Det stora världsägget

The Great World Egg -
an "ovatorio" based on E. Swedenborg´s "De cultu et Amore Dei".


Comments on the origin of the dramatisation.

Emanuel Swedenborg´s tale of the creation, written in the year 1745 , is a fascinating and imaginativ retelling of Genesis that remains, unfortunately for many, an undiscovered jewel in the Swedish cultural treasury.

It was written after Swedenborgs intense dream and conversion period, when he abandoned his earlier tasks as a scientist to devote himself full time to spiritual questions. "De Cultu et Amore Dei" remained incomplete as S. discontinued his work when he felt called by God to interpret the Bible.

When I first read the tale I became fascinated by the poetic language, the bubbling joy and the loving and highly imaginativ description of the birth of the earth and man. This done in combination with the scientific truths S. thusfar had acquired. His questions and postulates place him very much in the present and point out implications which science is only now beginning to address - is there a force of unity in the universe? How does man relate to the cosmos?

This tale has a lot to say about closed circuit thinking, ecological balance and existentialism. Microcosm-macrocosm, spirit - material, body and soul, all relate to each other. Mankind has a choice: he must choose for himself how he wants to live his life. There is a key sentence in "De cultu et Amore Dei" that spurred me to create a work for the stage. It is when Adam hears love speak within himself: "Seek no longer the source when you find yourself in its very midst."

The dramatisation is based on the Swedish translation from Latin by Ritva Jonsson (1961).

Maria af Malmborg dec. 2003

ADAM är nu inte längre en yngling utan en man ETT HIMLAVÄSEN/LÄRAREN (Henrik Westberg) undervisar sina HIMMELSBORNA ELEVER ADAM hyllas av DE HIMMELSBORNA
Photo: Paul Björkman

The Great World Egg -
an "ovatorio" based on E. Swedenborg´s "De cultu et Amore Dei".


A brief synopsis

The earth is born from the sun, together with six other planets. We follow the earth's development, from barrenness to flourishing blooming, where every egg and seed burns with desire to extend the chain of evolution and create new living creatures. The Highest Sense fertilizes an egg which hangs on the Tree of Life, and from which is born the first man- Adam.

We follow Adam's inner development - how the Mother Soul gives birth to the Intellegences that raise Adam. These develop later into Wisdoms that teach Adam to see the difference between true love and false, worldy love. He learns to respect himself and his surroundings.

In another garden is a beautiful tree on which hangs an egg that later gives birth to Eve. She is raised by her Heavenly Beings and learns , above all, the relationship between body and soul. How the three abilitys - the soul, the intellectual sense and the physical consciousness interact with one another. She receives a message from heaven that she is to be united with Adam.

And so Adam and Eve meet. After their first night together they awaken to a strange light phenomena...

DE HIMMELSBORNA ELEVERNA presenterar vad de lärt sig. Tenorer och basar ur Mariakören. DE HIMMELSBORNA (Mariakören) BERÄTTAREN (Maria af Malmborg) och ADAM. I bakgrunden syns DE TRE VISHETERNA
Photo: Paul Björkman

The Great World Egg -
an "ovatorio" after Emanuel Swedenborg´s "De cultu et Amore Dei".


Comments on the form structural ideas.

We found possibilities in this material to cross established borders, to create a staged oratorio for choir, orchestra, vocal trio, soprano, bariton and actor.

We were taken by the enthusiastic naivité in Swedenborg's way of narrating, both his language and the shear content. His text overflows its vessel, at times seeming completely unedited. We wanted to portray our experience, theatrically and musically, by mixing high and low, deep emotions and seriousness with lust and playfullness . One finds in the music influences from different periods and styles. The choir, the Inhabitants in Heaven, were dressed in egg colored costumes with influences from all over the world. The romantic naivité runs like a common thread throughout the work. Dolls were used to portray Adam as a newborn, and Adam and Eve as adults. The text for The Great World Egg is adapted from "De cultu et Amore Dei," the choir texts are taken in part from other writings of Swedenborg, and from original works by Maria af Malmborg.

Maria af Malmborg
Björn Linnman dec. 2003

Det stora världsägget
Ett ovatorium efter E. Swedenborgs skapelsedrama.

Musik: Björn Linnman
Manus och regi: Maria af Malmborg
Scenografi: Tommy Glans
Kostym: Lisbet Wahlström
Ljussättning: Torben Grut
Körinstudering: Agneta Sköld

Av Bruno K. Öijer ur "Fyra monologer"
Från TV-filmen "Från en demons båge" 1997

Berättaren: Maria af Malmborg
Modersjälen: Ellinor Carlsson
De tre visheterna: Anna Sköld, Camilla Nee, Jennie Wilhelmsson
Ett himlaväsen/läraren: Henrik Westberg
De himmelsborna: Mariakören

Västerås Sinfonietta
Dirigent: Joachim Gustafsson


Gloriosa superba
1 min, 6 sec, Download MP3

2 min, 12 sec, Download MP3

Människors egentliga liv
1 min, 18 sec, Download MP3

1 min, 31 sec, Download MP3

Den manliga visheten
7 min, 35 sec, Download MP3

DE TRE VISHETERNA (Anna Sköld, Jennie Wilhelmsson och Camilla Nee) ADAM och BERÄTTAREN (Maria af Malmborg) Modersjälen (Ellinor Carlsson)
Photo: Paul Björkman