Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Selective Quotation

Okay, the reviews for The Gospel of Mary Magdalene were not exactly rapturous; even the most positive had reservations. Pity the poor marketing department at San Francisco Opera, which does its best to sell tickets regardless. They managed to put together marketing email that makes Mary Magdalene sound quite a bit better than it is. Here's what I can copy & paste:

From the San Francisco Chronicle:
"The densely rhapsodic new opera by composer and librettist Mark Adamo, that had its world premiere at the San Francisco Opera on Wednesday night, burns with the fervor of an artist championing a cause."
"From scene to scene and moment to moment, The Gospel sweeps the listener along on a stream of evocative music. Adamo has the ingenious knack for creating memorable themes whose recurrences serve as signposts for the drama, and his vocal writing is both urgent and shapely."
"In a performance of dazzling vocal majesty and theatrical clarity...the extraordinary mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke made a triumphant company debut in the title role... her singing was throaty, eloquent, and shimmeringly rich; the saintly nimbus that Renaissance painters suggested using gold paint attaches naturally to Cooke's voice."

Sasha Cooke and Nathan Gunn
Box Office
(415) 864-3330
Mon 10am–5pm
Tue–Sat 10am–6pm
Group Sales
Bring a group and enjoy exclusive savings and benefits! For groups of 10 or more call(415) 621-4403.

Nathan Gunn
More praise for The Gospel of Mary Magdalene:
"Nathan Gunn sings with robust sound and…aching subtlety. You admire his daring in portraying Jesus in an opera."
  –The New York Times
"In addition to making a handsome Yeshua, Gunn provided a non-tableaux-like figure, moving easily on stage, genuine and always human.He sang with a warm and flexible baritone and provided the finest vocal moments of the evening." –The Classical Review
"Sasha Cooke's Mary is a modern feminine ideal, opulently sensuous, insistently sensible, deeply feeling and demandingly honest." –The Los Angeles Times

"William Burden was a superb Peter—ardent, implacable and wrenching in his final moments of regret."  –San Francisco Chronicle
William Burden gives Peter "a profound electricity."
  –The Los Angeles Times
Mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke "has a voice like a full moon; it beautifies and illuminates, giving the listener something special to contemplate." –San Jose Mercury News

William Burden

Maria Kanyova

To a certain extent, you can judge for yourself without buying a ticket: the libretto is on line (kudos to composer and company for doing this) and so are lots of musical excerpts. (The trailer gives a truthful flavor of the music.)

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