Diocesan News

Opera at the Co-Cathedral

The cast of “Made in America” rehearses a scene from the opera that premiered at St. Joseph’s Co-Cathedal, Prospect Heights, on Sept. 26.
The cast of “Made in America” rehearses a scene from the opera that premiered at St. Joseph’s Co-Cathedal, Prospect Heights, on Sept. 26.

On Friday, Sept. 26, the curtain went up at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph, Prospect Heights, as a new opera series by the indie company Opera Oggi New York made its premiere.

“Made in America” is a set of one-act operas with storyline, text and music by Thomas Lawrence Toscano, founder of the singer-run company. The opera mini-series will bring some of New York City’s most exciting young opera singers to produce what has been described as a truly captivating performance.

The Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph invited the independent company to perform “Made in America, Episode 1: The Interview.”

“It is a great initiative. We wanted to help this group of talented musicians raise awareness on the current crisis of the Middle East. As a welcoming Church, we support all types of artistic expressions that share our same concerns,” said Msgr. Kieran Harrington, diocesan vicar for communications and rector of the Co-Cathedral.

The opera tells the story of two women: Anat, a Jewish woman living in West Jerusalem, and Alzubra, a Muslim woman converted from a Presbyterian Maryland upbringing now living in East Jerusalem. After meeting, they realize they share a dual tragedy, one with life-bonding similarities.

As their friendship grows, they discover that they both have lost two young children to the violence around them. In their grief, they decide to create an organization called Mu-Je-Lif, Muslim and Jewish Women for Life. Concerned but not overly so, the U.S. Deptartment of Defense sends a journalist, a public affairs officer on leave in the Holy Land, to hear their story. What follows transforms all three of them as it unfolds to its deeply powerful conclusion.

Episode 1: The Interview also will be presented at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph on Fridays, Oct. 3 and 10, at 8 p.m. and Sundays, Sept. 28 and Oct. 5, at 4 p.m.

Tickets will be available at the door or in advance on the company’s website, via PayPal, www.operaogginy.info.

Episode 2 will premiere in the spring of 2015

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