“Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum.”
“If you want peace, prepare for war.”
This adage has been observed and upheld for centuries spanning virtually all civilizations and cultures. When will mankind say “enough?”
This show is based on music from Holst’s, The Planets. Specifically, it features arrangements and re-workings of the first movement of the work, Mars, the Bringer of War as well as the fourth movement, Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity. The show does not have a specific story line. Rather, it is more of an impressionist style show focusing on how war feels from an emotional standpoint. Therefore, it is a very flexible show that can fit a number of visual directions. In fact, even though the original version was done with a Roman warrior visual theme, it could really be anything. Even beyond that, you could ditch the war theme altogether and use the Mars and Jupiter arrangements in whatever setting you wish.
While well suited to benefit from the use of props and other methods of set design, the point can also be made with much more subtlety, focusing on the performers characterizations to get the message across. The show uses music from Mars to represent the aggressive and destructive nature of war while using Jupiter to represent the pain, suffering, sadness, and questioning of war.
“Si Vis Pacem…” was commissioned for Los Alamitos High School in spring 2020, but due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, was not fully realized.