NY City Opera and 92YTribeca Present Esther Symposium Oct. 25

Classic Arts Features   NY City Opera and 92YTribeca Present Esther Symposium Oct. 25
New York City Opera and 92YTribeca will offer an Oct. 25 symposium on Esther, the Hugo Weisgall work that opens NYCO's season Nov. 7. "The Whole Megillah" will include lectures, panel discussions, music and background on the opera.


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.
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

Visit New York City Opera or 92YTribeca.

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