Opera Singers Interpret Ongoing Middle East Conflict at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph

Posted on Sep 22, 2014 in Press Room

On Friday, September 26th, the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph, 856 Pacific St. in Prospect Heights, will be home to a new opera series by the vibrant indie company Opera Oggi New York.

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 great 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 Monsignor Kieran Harrington, Vicar for Communications of the Diocese of Brooklyn and Rector of the Co-Cathedral.

The opera performance will tell 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 each 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. Dept. of Defense sends a journalist, a Public Affairs Officer on leave in the Holy Land, to hear their story. What follows, The Interview, transforms all three of them as it unfolds to its deeply powerful conclusion.

Episode 1: The Interview will be presented at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph on September 26th, October 3rd, October 10th at 8:00 p.m. and September 28th, October 5th at 4:00 p.m. Tickets will be available at the door or in advance on the company’s website, via PayPal www.operaogginy.info.

The Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph in Prospect Heights was elevated in February 2013 by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and was dedicated on May 13, 2014 by the Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn.

Opera Oggi New York is an indie opera company, who’s mission is to present high-quality, socially relevant performances to a variety of audiences, while providing emerging opera artists a highly challenging yet safe environment to make important strides towards their greatest artistic potential. Maestro Toscano is composing Episode 2: H.I.H.C. and it will be premiered Spring 2015.