Children's and Liturgical Opera Company, LLC



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


Correggio, Noli Me Tangere"(1522-3)



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


In order of appearance

Seven Unclean Spirits* - unison, middle and high range, male or female or both. (Singers who cannot sing topmost notes may simply drop out. Director may use only female voices if desired.)
Jesus - tenor
Magdalene - soprano
A Pharisee* - tenor or high baritone
Several Pharisees* - tenor or high baritone
Woman Caught in Adultery* - mezzo soprano
Woman Who Anoints Jesus* - mezzo soprano
Judas Iscariot* - baritone
Simon* - baritone or low tenor
Mary of Bethany* - mezzo soprano
Male Disciples* - baritones
Female Disciples* - mezzo soprano
Mary, Jesus’s Mother* - mezzo soprano
John (the Beloved Disciple)* - non-singing
First Criminal* - low tenor
Second Criminal* - low tenor
Soldiers* - non-singing
Andrew, a disciple* - baritone
Peter, a disciple* - baritone
Matthew, a disciple* - baritone
Angels* - mid-range; unison; may be male, female, or both

* parts may be doubled









none but some miming optional



minimal Biblical garb. Details in score.



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






tonal, impressionistic






twenty-five minutes



This piece has not been performed.

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. and 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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