Thursday, June 13, 2013

Nathan Gunn discusses playing Jesus in new opera in San Francisco

Nathan Gunn as Yeshua (Jesus) and Sasha Cooke as Mary Magdalene
The San Francisco Opera under the inspired leadership of David Gockley keeps adding exciting new operas to the repertory. The latest is the world premiere of Mark Adamo's The Gospel of Mary Magadalene. (Their fall season also includes the world premiere of Tobias Picker's Dolores Claiborne starring Dolora Zajic). Adamo is the composer of two other hit operas, the hysterical Lysistrata and the classic tale Little Women, the latter which has become the most performed opera in America.

Supported by six years of his own research into ancient texts and modern biblical scholarship, Adamo has written a libretto for The Gospel of Mary Magadalene that scrutinizes Christian scripture and transforms it into an alternate history of sorts. Played out through human characters struggling with the role of sexuality in a patriarchal world, the opera reimagines a neglected, yet pivotal, female character who was traditionally (and erroneously) labeled as a prostitute but who, amidst the contentious religious politics of the time, was able to show Jesus the moral dignity of women.

The YouTube channel for San Francisco Classical Voice has posted a series of interviews with barihunk Nathan Gunn talking about the world premiere of Mark Adamo's Gospel of Mary Magadalene at San Francisco Opera.

Performances are running form June 19 to July 7 and tickets are available online.

Nathan Gunn on playing Jesus:

Nathan Gunn on working with his colleagues:

Nathan Gunn on working with composer Mark Adamo:

You can also listen to Cy Musiker from public radio station KQED talk about the The Gospel of Mary Magdalene. 

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