Children's and Liturgical Opera Company, LLC
www.chancelopera.com
 

LITURGICAL OPERA: Magdalene

 
MAGDALENE and OTHERS

a chancel opera about Jesus's Close Women Disciples
by Susan Hulsman Bingham

 

 
Correggio, Noli Me Tangere"(1522-3)
 

VOICES:

 

Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass parts. (See below)

CAST:
  Seven Unclean Spirits - mezzo soprano
Magdalene- soprano
Jesus- tenor
Pharisees/men - tenor, baritone
Woman Caught in Adultery - mezzo soprano
Women Disciples - soprano, mezzo soprano
Woman Who Anoints Jesus - mezzo soprano
Judas Iscariot - tenor
Men Disciples - tenor, baritone
Simon - tenor
First criminal - baritone
Second criminal - tenor
Angel - low tenor
Centurion - low tenor
Andrew - baritone
Peter - baritone
Matthew - baritone
John the Beloved - baritone

ACCOMPANIMENT:

 

piano

CHORUS:

 

none

DANCE:

 

none but some miming optional

PROPS:

 

minimal Biblical garb. Details in score.

SOURCE OF TEXTS:

 

Psalms, Song of Solomon, Lamentations, Zechariah, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Gospels, Revelations, Romans, Ephesians, Pistis Sophia, Gospel of Peter

LANGUAGE:

 

English

MUSICAL STYLE:

 

tonal, impressionistic

SCENES:

 

six

DURATION:

 

twenty-five minutes

PREMIER:

 

This piece has not been performed.

 
SYNOPSIS
 
Scene 1

Mary Magdalene is purged by Jesus of seven demons. A crowd gathers around a woman caught in the act of adultery. Jesus prevents a stoning. Mary Magdalene sings a hymn of thanks to Jesus. The hymn becomes a duet.

 
Scene 2

A woman is accused of committing adultery. Jesus endures the Pharisees' glee at presenting her as a sinner, and Jesus uses both heart and logic to send them away.

Scene 3

Mary Magdalene complains to Jesus that his male disciples do not approve of her and that she is uncomfortable in their presence.

 
Scene 4

A woman annoints Jesus with oil while the other guests mumble about the high cost of the ointment. Jesus gives them a morality lesson and tells the woman that her faith has healed her.

 
Scene 5

Men and women disciples argue about whom Jesus loves more. Magdalene calms them with an aria about her own old habit of loving jealously, and how Jesus has changed that.

 
Scene 6

Jesus is crucified. Mary Magdalene assures her stricken friends that his promises are true.

 
Scene 7

Women go to Jesus' tomb. Jesus appears to Magdalene. She tells the other disciples, who challenge her honesty. Hurt but steadfast, she continues reassuring them. Jesus appears in their midst.

 

Musical score: $58. Price includes shipping and handling within the U.S. Price also includes performing rights and permission to make sufficient copies for cast and accompanists for one group or company for one season.

Musical score in downloadable PDF format: $30.

 

Composer's comment: We have never performed this piece, as churches are loath to use non-canonical texts. Those interested in women's issues and in the role of some of the women who followed Jesus will find this a sympathetic portrayal of them.

I REALLY like this piece. If you perform it, let us know how it goes. SHB

 

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