Art And Culture
Christian Opera At The Bolshoi

Metropolitan Opera basso Jerome Hines’s opera I Am the Way will be performed at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow next summer.

“Quite frankly, I didn’t think this was going to come off,” said Patrick Kavanaugh, director of the 500-member Christian Performing Arts Fellowship in Washington, D.C. Kavanaugh traveled to Moscow in July to negotiate with Bolshoi officials. “I was already aware that the Bolshoi had refused the Metropolitan Opera. In the theater’s 200 year-old history, operators had never allowed an American opera to come in.”

After encountering difficulties even getting a ticket to a Bolshoi performance, Kavanaugh raised eyebrows when he informed officials that his company, including the virtuoso Hines, wanted to perform the opera for free. About 100 Washington-area performers will make the Moscow trip. The company hopes to raise about $250,000 through private donations and foundation grants to cover the expenses.

Kavanaugh noted that while the director of a Washington theater had rejected the production (which is based on the life of Christ) because he felt it might offend his patrons, Bolshoi officials said they wanted the opera precisely because of its spiritual nature.

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