English Blog

John Adams: The Gospel According to the Other Mary 6/4/12

June 4, 2012

I attended the dress rehearsal of this oratorio last Thursday. They have already performed 4 concerts by now, and LA Phil ended their 2011-12 season yesterday. First of all, the singers in this oratorio are really excellent, Kelly O’Connor as Mary Magdalene, Tamara Mumford as Martha, Russel Thomas as Lazarus, and 3 countertenors as narrators, Daniel Bubeck, Brian Cummings, and Nathan Medley. In this oratorio, the Passion story is combined with the modern life in homeless shelter and drug addiction. The singers portrait a story with great expression, and their exceptional voices. It is touching. I understand they will have a staging when they will repeat this production next year. I have a hard time imagining it. The Passion story is great without staging because it is all in our mind and soul. I guess it is combined with our time so they try to do more realistically?? Also I loved the orchestration using cimbalon and electric bass. The players were fantastic, and the sound was very effective in this setting. It is almost a 2 and 1/2 hour long piece instead of the first idea of 90 minutes. I have heard that John Adams has been advised to make it more compact for future. I liked it as it is.