From our friend Ruben B. Pimentel, Jr., Director of Marketing & Communications, Merola Opera Program:
Five years in the making, Abraham in Flames takes off this fall as the entire cast of singers and ensemble of musicians gather for a five-day residency, culminating in workshop performances of the first half of the opera on October 3 & 4. The cast includes Merola alums Nikki Einfeld (Merola 2003) and Brian Thorsett (Merola 2006).
This new opera, by creator/writer Niloufar Talebi, composer Aleksandra Vrebalov, and director Roy Rallo, is inspired by Talebi’s coming of age in Tehran around the iconic Iranian poet Ahmad Shamlou during his presence in her parents’ literary salons, the staggering imagery in Shamlou’s life and poetry, the agony and final commitment of Jesus depicted in paintings of the Garden of Gethsemane, Trials by Fire, and the Tree of Life. It is about the history of the love we receive and the immeasurable impact of artistic mentors in our journey to spiritual becoming and quest for our truth. Abraham in Flames is written for the Young Women’s Choral Projects of San Francisco, soloists including Merola Opera Program singers, and musical ensemble featuring The Living Earth Show.