Director Peter Sellars returns to ENO for what will undoubtedly be one of the most significant events in London’s contemporary music season: the world stage premiere of John Adams’s latest dramatic work, The Gospel According to the Other Mary. ENO enjoys a unique association with Adams, having staged all three of his major operas, most recently The Death of Klinghoffer in 2012.
Using a text fashioned by Sellars from Biblical sources as well as several 20th-century writers (including Primo Levi), leading US composer Adams has created what Sellars describes as an attempt to ‘set the Passion story in the eternal present, in the tradition of sacred art’. It is an interpretation of the Resurrection from the perspective of two women close to Jesus (Mary Magdalene and her sister, Martha), in which the narrative switches between the Biblical past and the worldly present, drawing parallels between Christ’s Passion and contemporary events such as the Arab Spring.
Designer George Tsypin, responsible for the opening ceremony of 2014 Sochi Olympiad, resumes his partnership with Sellars, which began with Theodora at Glyndebourne, while ENO regular Patricia Bardon (Mary Magdalene) leads a cast that includes a major role for the ENO Chorus.
The Gospel According to the Other Mary is sung and surtitled in English