City Opera and 92YTribeca have teamed up to present a lively, interactive, and fun afternoon of music, art, and thought-provoking conversation celebrating NYCO's revival of Hugo Weisgall's American masterpiece Esther.
Over the course of the afternoon at the 92nd Street Y's intimate new downtown venue, a diverse group of spiritual leaders, scholars, and creative and performing artists will deconstruct the beloved and controversial Esther: Biblical heroine, legendary beauty queen, political activist, contemporary icon, and nice Jewish girl.
1:30pm _ "By the Book": The Megillah
We begin at the source, with a portion of the Megillah (the Biblical Book of Esther) chanted in its traditional style, followed by a roadmap of its central narrative.
Rabbi David Kalb, Director of Jewish Education, Bronfman Center for Jewish Life, 92nd Street Y, and Hayley Siegel, Rabbinical Intern, 92YTribeca
2:00-2:50pm _ "If not me, who? If not now, when?"
The Megillah has always been an opera! Just who is its heroine, Esther, and why has she been adopted as a symbol by groups as diverse as the Christian Right, the Progressive movement, self-help gurus, the African-American churches, and gay rights advocates? Her story is not only a literary and spiritual masterpiece, but an expression of fundamental human issues: exile, alienation, otherness, redemption, sexuality and evil.
Rabbi David Kalb
3:00-3:50pm _ "Pretty as a Picture"
A beauty queen is in the eye of the beholder: we glimpse Esther through the centuries, in visual images.
James M. Saslow, Professor of Renaissance Art and Theater, CUNY Graduate Center
4:00-5:00pm _ "The Operatic Esther"
American composer Hugo Weisgall created an Esther for the ages. NYCO's Team Esther guides you through this American classic: its background, its music, and City Opera's world-premiere production.
PANELISTS: Lauren Flanigan, soprano; Charles Kondek, librettist; Christopher Mattaliano, director; Moderator: Cori Ellison, NYCO Dramaturg
5:00-5:30pm _ "A NYCO Purim-Spiel"
Grab your groggers and a glass of wine! Nothing is sacred as opera singers on their off-hours tell the story of Esther, New York-style.
New York City Opera soloists, Kevin Murphy, NYCO Director of Music Administration, piano
$15 general admission, $12 for students