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Published On: Wed, Jun 26th, 2013

‘Gospel of Mary Magdalene’ presents her as Jesus’ closest disciple, wife and lover

The Gospel of Mary Magdalene is a radical retelling of the biblical story of Jesus. The opera is as large-scale as new operas come these days, with a cast of 19 soloists, 48 choristers and an orchestra of 65 musicians.

Mary Magdalene at the Feet of Jesus painting by James Tissot

Mary Magdalene at the Feet of Jesus painting by James Tissot

Christians and followers of Jesus may be surprised by the production which Mary Magdalene as not only Jesus’ most important disciple but also his wife. There is a sex scene as well, or at the NY Time describes it: “Mary takes Jesus, called Yeshua in this work, to bed.”

Best known for his modest chamber opera “Little Women,” composer Mark Adamo was looking for a more ambitious project to tackle when he happened upon a magazine article about Mary Magdalene.

“I had been thinking if I was going to do a grand opera, I didn’t want it to be “The Summer I Lost My Kitten” blown up with a large orchestra,” Adamo said in an interview. “It needed to be a big subject, something that was authentically better in a big theater.”

Adamo credits his six years of research in developing the project, especially in Gnostic Gospels.

The Time review reveals more details which may not sit well with a Christian audience:

Adamo opens the opera with a group of five modern-day believers, called Seekers, who are on an archaeological dig in the Holy Land. They are fed up with the negativity of contemporary Christianity toward sex and the subservient role of women in the church. Their despair summons a spiritual chorus of people who look contemporary yet promise to fill in the missing parts of the story.

Read the whole review here

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