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This project was successfully funded on April 2, 2015

The Voyage of Mary Magdalene - A chamber opera

by Nancy Bachmann


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The Voyage of Mary Magdalene A Chamber Opera Miracle Play by Nancy Bachmann

There are many conflicting legends and traditions about this much loved and often denigrated saint. Discovery of the (unfortunately incomplete) Gospel of Mary Magdalene, as well as other relatively recent research and scholarship have thrown some light on the historical Mary Magdalene.

Popular culture has embraced various theories and legends of this remarkable woman. The stories of this saint fill a place long vacant in the spiritual lives of many.

I believe that knowing and understanding historical truth is vital for the survival and advancement of humankind. But, there are also other types of truth. The truth found in poetry, in music and art, in legend and story, is also worthy and important to the human spirit. My hope is that this opera provides some sense of that kind of truth.

 The story is my own fiction based on one of the many legends of Mary Magdalene. The belief is pervasive in France that Mary Magdalene was Mary of Bethany, sister to Martha and Lazarus. During a time of persecution in the Holy Lands they were forced onto a boat with no sail, oar or rudder and put out to sea. They arrived miraculously in France, where they settled and were credited with many miracles and good deeds. This opera tells of their journey from Palestine to the South of France.

I composed this work as a vehicle to bring amateur musicians and professionals together, participating in a cooperative chamber music performance. It is a sacred work, but nonsectarian. I hope it provides an uplifting experience for performers and audiences alike.

I am looking to raise a minimum goal of $3,250 to pay for singers, instrumentalists, composer honorariums, website, programs and supertitles for the upcoming concert premiere performance on Saturday, March 21, 2015 at Clayton Valley Presbyterian Church located at 1578 Kirker Pass Road, CA 94517. The performance will begin at 7:30 pm. Anything I raise above and beyond this goal will go toward a future fully staged performance in 2016 which will include singers, instumentalists, sets, costumes, supertitles and marketing.