“The Other Mary” in Volksoper: The Jesus Revolution in the Global South

The underlying theme is that the biblical accounts actually took place in the Global South. Then in that part of the world that was colonized. Lately the leftist living room has become the center of attention for revolutionaries, but also the art scene: formerly oppressed people are everywhere, and they are now profitably at the forefront. Here these are the people who experienced the Jesus revolution, but were never allowed to tell their own story as women, poor and oppressed.

Here the name “other Mary” who tells the gospel is a combination of Bethany and Mary of Bethany, sister of Lazarus.

The latter runs a home for unemployed and homeless women with her sister Martha – and has to watch her brother die because no one but the late-coming Jesus helps the poor.

So only miracles help the poor.

On the Volksoper stage, it is represented by the archetype of rebellion, the colorful staff of an inclusive vision of humanity, which apparently goes hand in hand with a postcolonial vision. Old and young, binary and non-binary, many women in leading roles – you don’t see that on opera stages.

From Hildegard von Bingen to Louise Erdrich to Dorothy Day, a diverse repertoire of poems with a feminist perspective is sung throughout: the salvation of Lazarus and the resurrection of Jesus are intertwined with modern struggles for freedom and the rhetoric of self-empowerment.

The production adheres to the oratorio character, sometimes with people walking around on stage, sometimes with oversized animal heads or elaborate foot washing (Director: Lysenka Heijboer Castanone). The first action is determined by a rotating container, the second by an open space.

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Pressure from above

Main Cast Music (On Stage: Nicole Payment) – And it’s unique, especially if you appreciate the songwriting, which isn’t wrong in principle. Adams usually has haunting vocals on par with country musicians from above. It’s like working on so many moments that – and we’re on the topic – the holy grail of new music: joy, emotion, and yes, you can hum in many places. At three hours it was too long.

Different colors, in which text and music and beautiful (opposite) voices mix again and again, you are really soon full, but you have to do a lot more.

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