Mary Magdalene as an Opera Diva?

Mary Magdalene as an Opera Diva?

Seven years ago, New York composer Mark Adamo was struck reading Joan Acocela’s article in The New Yorker on Mary Magdalene in which the tensions of the early church and the diversity of perspectives on this pivotal New Testament figure were sketched. Adamo was captivated by the Mary Magdalene he discerned within the article, a disciple who might have best understood Jesus’ message, and a woman whose passions were part of her path towards spirituality, not away from it. The project consumed his life, and he spent five years researching both Canonical and Gnostic Gospels, as well as a plethora of historical sources, to create "The Gospel of Mary Magdalene", his deeply personal version of the Gospel story. The result promises to be dramatic indeed, with fiery and dramatic portraits of Jesus, his mother, Mary Magdalene and the disciple Peter. Some scenes, precisely because they're drawn from both Gnostic and traditional sources, will surely inspire debate and controversy. While lines from the synoptic and Nag Hammadi gospels weave their way throughout the arias, ultimately, it is the Gospel of John and Gospel of Mary that form the heart and soul of Adamo’s emotionally moving vision. In preparation for the world premiere at the San Francisco Opera on June 19, a wide variety of educational and ancillary events are being hosted throughout the Bay Area, including a six week webinar series on "The Myths of Mary Magdalene" by cultural historian and mythologist Kayleen Asbo.

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