Is “The Gospel According to the Other Mary” mis-named?
May 31, 2012 2 Comments
I’m killing time before this evening’s Los Angeles Philharmonic concert by drinking an old fashioned — a really good one, BTW, care of the bartender at the Omni Hotel near Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Anyways, I started thinking about tonight’s world premiere of The Gospel According to the Other Mary, a modern bit of social commentary-cum-oratorio by John Adams told from the point of view of Mary Magdalene. So I’m guessing “the other Mary” is a reference to the protagonist, identifying her as a different Mary than the mother of Jesus.
Now I’m no bible scholar, but I’ve spent some quality time in church on Sundays, not to mention spending a few formative years of my youth being taught by nuns (God bless the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians). And one thing I know is that despite all the confusion about the various women named Mary in the bible (a confusion which, according to the program notes, the libretto allegedly avoids), there actually is a woman referred to as “the other Mary” — and she is NOT Mary Magdalene.
Kinda reminds me of the issue some people (like me) had with the title of The Da Vinci Code and how it would have been more proper if it were called The Leonardo Code. Yeah, I also get annoyed when people say “very unique.”
Of course, there is one other thing that John Adams’ musical piece and Dan Brown’s book share: they are works that start with Christian-related subject matter, but in actuality are entirely non-Christian . . . or perhaps extra-Christian.
As long as we all know this going in and treat it as such, we’ve put it in the right context.
I’m out of bourbon-based refreshment and should really get over to WDCH instead of getting another round. Feel free to discuss more amongst yourselves.
Review of tonight’s concert coming in a day or so.