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June 19–July 7



T heMagdalene Gospel of Mary




T he Opera Drawing from ancient texts and modern scholarship, renowned composer/librettist Mark Adamo re-imagines the story of Jesus and the people closest to him—including the misunderstood woman who loved him most dearly and heard his message most clearly. A “brilliant theater composer” (The New Yorker), Adamo writes “music of beauty and emotional accessibility” (San Francisco Chronicle). Soprano Sasha Cooke brings her “lustrous and evocative singing” (San Francisco Chronicle) to the title role, with baritone Nathan Gunn, “a born actor” who “sings as if speaking the words” (The New York Times), portraying Yeshua (Jesus). Rounding out the cast as Miriam is soprano Maria Kanyova, a “superb singing actress” (Opera News), and bringing his “soaring, silvery charisma” (San Francisco Chronicle)

to the role of Peter is tenor William Burden.

Dig Deeper Discover More Join us for the exciting world premiere of The Gospel of Mary Magdalene

Fascinating, illuminating and certainly provocative, this world

this June! Shrouded in mystery and controversy, the fascinating story

premiere will be the talk of the town—don’t miss it!

of Jesus and Mary Magdalene has long intrigued scholars, historians and religious groups, inciting debates and discussions. We invite you to embark on a journey of discovery and attend special events hosted by our


community partners for an illuminating exploration of various related

June 19 7:30pm 22 8pm 25 8pm 28 8pm July 2 7:30pm 5 8pm 7 2pm

activities leading up to the opera’s premiere and beyond.

issues and the making of the opera—with performances, lectures and

OperaVision, high-definition projection screens, is featured in the Balcony.



Mary Magdalene: Sasha Cooke* Miriam: Maria Kanyova Peter: William Burden Yeshua: Nathan Gunn

Conductor: Michael Christie* Director: Kevin Newbury* Set Designer: David Korins* Costume Designer: Constance Hoffman Lighting Designer: Christopher Maravich

*San Francisco Opera debut

T he Gospel of

Mary Magdalene Buy your performance tickets today!


Gunn • (415) 864-3330 • Opera Box Office Burden




Approximate running time: 2 hours, 40 minutes including one intermission San Francisco Opera production Commissioned by San Francisco Opera Sung in English with English supertitles


War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Avenue at Grove Street Box Office Hours: Mon 10am–5pm, Tue–Sat 10am–6pm, Sat phone only until May 18

Tuesdays, April 16–May 21, 10:15am–12pm Myths and Mysteries of Mary Magdalene with Kayleen Asbo, MA, MM

Sunday, May 19, 2pm San Francisco Opera Guild’s East Bay Chapter presents: An Afternoon with Mark Adamo

The greatest disciple or reformed prostitute? Contemplative ascetic or bride of Christ? From Donatello to Dan Brown, Giotto to the Gnostic Gospels, Rilke to Rodin, this pivotal woman is a mirror of the sacred across time as an image of both spirituality and sensuality. Six classes.

San Francisco Opera’s Director of Music Administration Dr. Kip Cranna will interview composer/librettist Mark Adamo about the making of his world premiere opera, with musical excerpts.

OLLI, Dominican University of California Marin County Basic Annual Membership Fee: $30 Course Fee: $120 First-time OLLI members receive $60 off

April 24 and May 7, 6:30–8:30pm Stanford Women’s Club of San Francisco Lectures On April 24, Dr. Kirsti Barrett Copeland will explore the roles of Mary Magdalene and the other female characters in the early Christian community. On May 7, Dr. Barbara Pitkin will focus on the figure of Mary Magdalene in religion, art and culture from the Middle Ages to the present. Fort Mason $10 Club members; $15 general

Wednesday, May 1, 7pm Free Teleseminar: The Myths of Mary Magdalene Join cultural historian, musician and professor Kayleen Asbo for a free introductory teleseminar introducing the many diverse portrayals of Mary Magdalene, from Orthodox apostle to Medieval penitent sinner to Gnostic embodiment of wisdom. FREE to the public.

Sunday, May 5, 2–5pm The C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco presents: A Discussion on Mary Magdalene Jungian analysts Karlyn Ward and Janet Robinson will explore the psychological and archetypal meaning of Mary Magdalene in Mark Adamo’s opera and John Adams’ The Gospel According to the Other Mary, with selected art and music. Free to members of Friends of the Institute $20 non-members/$10 students & interns To register:

Del Valle Clubhouse, Rossmoor Senior Community Tickets: $30; $20 Rossmoor Opera/Ballet Club members Reservations: Silvia Lin, (925) 838-9255 or

Sunday, May 19, 7pm Jewish Community Center of San Francisco: Previewing The Gospel of Mary Magdalene Mark Adamo will discuss the process that led to his reinterpretation of Mary Magdalene, who is at the heart of one of the world’s most controversial mythologies. Featuring musical excerpts and the stars of the opera, Sasha Cooke and Nathan Gunn. Moderated by Dr. Kip Cranna. Kanbar Hall, JCCSF $22 JCCSF members; $25 standard

May 19–June 9 FREE PUBLIC EVENTS AT GRACE CATHEDRAL Sunday, May 19, 4:30pm Class, Chapter Room Who is Mary Magdalene? A general overview of Mary Magdalene’s place in text, tradition and history. Sunday, May 26, 4:30pm Class, Chapter Room The Textual Magdalene: Apostle or Prostitute? An examination of how the character of Mary Magdalene is portrayed across a variety of early Christian literatures. Sunday, June 2, 9:30am Forum, Gresham Hall Mary Magdalene in Text and History Professor Rebecca Lyman, Professor Kate Cooper, and the Very Rev. Dr. Jane Shaw, Dean of Grace Cathedral, discuss the non-canonical Gospel of Mary, its place in early Christianity and the role of women in the early churches. Sunday, June 2, 4:30pm Class, Chapter Room The Power Struggle over Mary Magdalene A discussion of how and why the Gospel of Mary and other early Christian literature didn’t make it into the Bible.

(Pricing per ticket)

Casting, programs, prices and schedule are subject to change.

Sunday, June 9, 4:30pm Class, Chapter Room Becoming Mary Magdalene: The Evolving Tradition of Mary Magdalene in the West Why do we find Mary Magdalene so fascinating? Examine how our shifting political and religious landscape has affected our interpretation of Mary Magdalene.

Wednesdays, June 5–26, 10am–12pm Contemporary Images of Mary Magdalene in Music, Art, Poetry and Film with Kayleen Asbo Explore canonical Gospels, Medieval legends and the Gnostic texts, and how they each inform the treatment of Mary Magdalene in contemporary art, music and literature. Special Guest: Composer Mark Adamo. Four classes. OLLI, UC Berkeley Course Fee: $95 plus OLLI membership $40/$50

June 10–13 Guild Preview Lectures Presented by local Guild Chapters and the San Jose Opera Guild, Dr. Lynne Morrow will give in-depth previews of the opera at various Bay Area locations. Marin Chapter: Mon, June 10, 8pm San Jose Opera Guild: Tue, June 11, 10am Peninsula Chapter: Tue, June 11, 7:30pm San Francisco Chapter: Wed, June 12, 12pm East Bay Chapter: Wed, June 12, 8pm Sonoma Chapter: Thu, June 13, 10:30am Location and admission fee vary per chapter. For details:

For details and updates, please visit us at:

Balcony Side (BLS)*



Get in the know from behind the scenes! Read what the cast members, production staff and artistic team of The Gospel of Mary Magdalene have to say on our blog.

Balcony Rear (BLR)*



Visiting from out of town?

Balcony Front (BLF)*



Balcony Circle or Dress Circle Rear (BC or DCR)



Dress Circle (DC)



Plan your visit to attend The Gospel of Mary Magdalene and explore the various events happening in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Orchestra Ring (ORR)



Orchestra or Grand Tier (ORC or GT)



Orchestra Premium or Grand Tier Premium (ORP/GTP)



Box Seats (BOX)




English supertitles are visible from all sections.

Sunday, June 9, 9:30am Forum, Gresham Hall Mary Magdalene in Arts and Culture Composer Mark Adamo joins the Very Rev. Dr. Jane Shaw to discuss Mary Magdalene as the muse for his opera.

All events FREE; suggested donation of $10


Wheelchair access and locations are available for purchase online or at the Box Office.

May 19–June 9 FREE Public Events at Grace Cathedral – cont.

M–TH/ *

F–SU/ *

O peraVision, high-definition projection screens featured in the Balcony, is made possible by the Koret-Taube Media Suite. * P  erformances featuring OperaVision include a surcharge to help offset the cost of this service.

† Subscribers to our 2012–13 Season receive an additional discount on single ticket purchases.

Start now and plan a perfect getaway! We’ve secured great deals on hotels for our out-of-town patrons. Visit for a list of participating hotels and details on how to make reservations. The world premiere of The Gospel of Mary Magdalene is made possible, in part, by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Photos (front and back covers): J. Henry Fair/San Francisco Opera; set design photo by Cory Weaver. Design: Clean Line Design •

Saturday, June 15, 9:30am–5:30pm Finding the Light Within: Mary Magdalene and the Labyrinth—A One-Day Workshop with Veriditas Master Teacher Kayleen Asbo Explore the Gnostic perspective on Mary Magdalene and learn ancient spiritual practices, including Lectio Divina, art meditation, journaling and labyrinth walking. Grace Cathedral Fee: $150 To register:

ng the Labyrinth Exp Offeri erie nce

Gathering, Training and Inspiring People on the Path

Monday, June 17, 6pm Guild Insight Panel Delve into the making of the opera in a panel discussion among members of the cast and artistic and creative teams. SF Conservatory of Music FREE to Opera members and subscribers; $5 general public

AT THE OPERA HOUSE June 19–July 7 Pre-Opera Talks with Pianist Sarah Cahill Enrich your opera experience by attending a pre-performance lecture, held 55 minutes prior to curtain in the Opera House auditorium.

Post-Performance Discussions with Professor Kayleen Asbo Join cultural historian and mythologist Kayleen Asbo for an engaging discussion immediately following each performance. Both events FREE to ticket-holders

Sunday, July 7, 5pm Opera on the Couch Immediately following the Sunday matinee performance of The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, members of the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis will discuss the opera’s theme from a psychoanalytic perspective. Books Inc., Opera Plaza FREE and open to the public


The Gospel of Mary Magdalene  

San Francisco Opera's 2012-13 World Premiere of Mark Adamo's "The Gospel of Mary Magdalene" featuring ancillary events hosted by our communi...

The Gospel of Mary Magdalene  

San Francisco Opera's 2012-13 World Premiere of Mark Adamo's "The Gospel of Mary Magdalene" featuring ancillary events hosted by our communi...