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Oct. 12 2013

10/19/13 – The Gospel of Mary Magdalene – 1:00pm

By WBJC Programming | Posted in Operafest | No Comments

San Francisco Opera

THE GOSPEL OF MARY MAGDALENE by Mark Adamo

Recorded Summer 2013, War Memorial Opera House.

Libretto by the composer
Magdalene_sfo13“No Gospel was written as history. But every gospel—not only those included in the New Testament—contains fragments of the history of Jesus of Nazareth and of those who followed him. In 2007 I wondered: could you develop from those fragments a credibly human original version of the story that we know only through its later, magical embellishments? In such a new New Testament, might its women characters speak as eloquently as its men? (The Gnostic Gospels suggest as much.) And might such a story gain, rather than lose, nobility, breadth, passion, nerve, if—instead of the usual saints, angels, and sinners—it centered on human beings making momentous decisions guided only by painful experience, moral intuition, and the light they have to see by? The Gospel of Mary Magdalene is my answer.”

—Mark Adamo, composer
WORLD PREMIERE

She has long been condemned as a harlot, or dismissed as a minor player in a well-known sacred narrative, but ancient manuscripts discovered in recent decades tell a very different story, giving us a striking new viewpoint on Jesus’ message to humanity. Mary Magdalene is placed at the center of the story in this world premiere by Mark Adamo, a “brilliant theater composer” (The New Yorker) whose Little Women is the most frequently performed new opera of the past 20 years. Kevin Newbury, lauded for his “imagination and emotional nuance” (The New York Times), directs a resplendent cast that includes Sasha Cooke, William Burden and Maria Kanyova. Nathan Gunn, who possesses “a voice of stunning authority” (The New York Times), sings the role of Yeshua. Michael Christie, in his San Francisco Opera debut, conducts.

Sung in English
Approximate running time: 2 hours, 50 minutes including one intermission

CAST/CREW

MARY MAGDALENE – SASHA COOKE *
MIRIAM – MARIA KANYOVA
PETER – WILLIAM BURDEN
YESHUA – NATHAN GUNN
TAMAR, SEEKER, GIRL, NEWSCASTER – MARINA HARRIS
SEEKER, GIRL STACEY TAPPAN
SEEKER, GIRL, NEWSCASTER – ERIN JOHNSON
POLICEMAN – DANIEL CURRAN *
FOLLOWER, SEEKER, PREACHER, NEWSCASTER – A.J. GLUECKERT *
FOLLOWER, SEEKER, NEWSCASTER – MARCO STEFANI *
POLICEMAN – BRIAN LEERHUBER
SIMON, FOLLOWER, ONLOOKER, NEWSCASTER – HADLEIGH ADAMS
FOLLOWER, SEEKER, FISHMONGER – JOSEPH BARRON *
PHARISEE, NEWSCASTER – JAMES CRESWELL
NEWSCASTER – PHILIPPE SLY

CONDUCTOR – MICHAEL CHRISTIE *
DIRECTOR – KEVIN NEWBURY *
SET DESIGNER – DAVID KORINS *
COSTUME DESIGNER – CONSTANCE HOFFMAN
LIGHTING DESIGNER – CHRISTOPHER MARAVICH
CHORUS DIRECTOR – IAN ROBERTSON

* SAN FRANCISCO OPERA DEBUT

photo credits: Corey Weaver

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