REAL-life father and son Simon and Samson Hyland will portray one of the Church’s most inspiring and even surprising father-son relationships on stage in Brisbane next week.
Mr Hyland, a Sydney-based teacher and father-of-three, will return to his home city of Brisbane with his 14-year-old son to take on the roles of St Augustine and his son Adeodatus, for a concert at Villanova College.
Augustine was 17 and unmarried when he and a young woman had a son, Adeodatus, which means “gift of God”.
Augustine, who never married Adeodatus’ mother, eventually experienced a conversion, and changed his life in order to pursue a life of penance.
In St Augustine’s famous book, Confessions, he refers to Adeodatus as “the son of my sin”.
The story will be retold in Augustine: The Way – Songs of Love, Loss and Liberation, a concert written by former Villanova College teacher Tony MacPherson, who was Mr Hyland’s maths teacher.
It will be the first time Mr Hyland, a professional actor and musician, performs alongside his son.
“Augustine had a son, so it made sense to use the real thing,” he said.
The pair will perform together for the pivotal moment of St Augustine’s conversion, when he and his son Adeodatus are baptised by Bishop Ambrose.
The concert will also be the setting for a mini-reunion with Mr Hyland’s favourite teacher Tony MacPherson, who wrote the songs that will be performed in the concert.
“One of the brand new songs that Tony has only just written will be featured for the first time, and Samson’s doing that song,” Mr Hyland said.
“It’s a Latin piece, an original piece of St Augustine’s rule.
“When he began the religious order, he wrote a rule of life, the ideal way to live.
“Some of the text has been taken from the original Latin writings.”
The concert also includes a piece that Mr Hyland helped compose when he was in Year 11 at Villanova College, a Catholic school run by the Augustinian Fathers, and the first song Mr MacPherson wrote about St Augustine.
“You know you have your favourite teachers at school, the teachers you connect with, well Tony was that teacher for me,” Mr Hyland said.
“We really hit it off and when he was developing this music he came to me, because I used to sing a bit at school.
“At the time I played piano quite well and sang, so we sat down and put accompaniment to the melody and lyrics he had.”
While that first song was written 26 years ago, the pair never lost touch and wrote Augustine: The Way over the past five years.
“Tony would be inspired with different melodies, using a lot of the lyrics from Augustine’s writing, sing them over the phone to me, and I’d have my keyboard there,” Mr Hyland said.
They recorded the CD together last year in New South Wales.
My Hyland said his close relationship with his former teacher had stirred a devotion to St Augustine.
“Through Tony and this music I’ve learnt a lot about his life,” he said.
“I’ve been very moved by his writings, and now he’s up there with being my favourite saint.”
Augustine: The Way – Songs of Love, Loss and Liberation will be performed in concert at Hanrahan Theatre, Villanova College, Coorparoo, at 7pm on Friday, June 1, and Saturday, June 2.
Tickets are $25 and can be booked at https://theway.trueau.com.