A religious play in which one of the crucial events from the Passion of Christ – the Lament of the Maidens – is re-lived in all its dramatic intensity. The play will be re-enacted at the Santuario della SS. Trinità in Vallepietra from June 1-3. It is an entirely sung version of the Passion of Christ and concludes the celebration of the Holy Trinity (Santissima Trinità) which normally falls on the eighth Sunday after Easter. The maidens, women from Vallepietra, all wear a white blouse, except for one, the Virgin Mary, who is dressed in dark-colored garments. They perform the “Lament” (the oldest version of this text dates from the 18th century), which alternates short arias called “mysteries” (in which each woman poetically illustrates the symbols of Christ’s Passion) and fragments in the vernacular of the Miserere (Psalm 50) sung in unison by a trio of maidens. The two sections are counterposed with completely different performance tempos. The Miserere is much faster and acts as a refrain within the sorrowful arias of the mysteries.
While maintaining its original structural elements, in recent decades the Lament has undergone a number of changes. One major innovation was the transformation of the religious play – which in the past was sung in the loggia of the sanctuary, with the young maidens singing in turns – into a real theatrical presentation including scenery and the involvement of male figures, who originally were not allowed.