Caroline Dhavernas

BSO lights a new fire under 'Joan of Arc'

BSO lights a new fire under 'Joan of Arc'

At the age of 16, a French villager named Jeanne d'Arc responded to what she said were the voices of saints, exhorting her to take up arms against English invaders. Dressed in male clothing, she led troops to victory in battle after battle before being captured when she was 19.

Jeanne heard voices again soon enough, but these were decidedly human ones, some mocking her and others praying for her as she slowly burned to death at the stake during a brutal execution carried out 580 years ago.

This week, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra presents its first performance of a 1938 oratorio commemorating the woman whose faith, vision and bravery would eventually earn her sainthood....