Black Rep to present Passion of Christ in a gospel opera

Black Rep to present Passion of Christ in a gospel opera
March 10
00:00 2016



Just before the official start of spring and the 2016 Easter season, the North Carolina  Black Repertory Company (NCBRC) has announced it will present the American premiere of the celebrated gospel opera “The Gospel According to Broadway.”

A continuation of “Black Nativity,” the production tells the Passion of Christ narrative by blending 300 years of African-American sacred music with the moves and music of well-known Broadway works. Opera is a story told in song and dance. The Passion of Christ in song and dance will be under the co-direction of two broadway veterans: Mabel Robinson and Chapman Roberts. Roberts has worked as a special events musical director and supervisor for President Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan’s Kennedy Center Honors, the Harlem Gospel Singers and American Idol among other venues. He came up with the concept for this gospel opera. It was first per-formed in London.

With this gospel opera, European opera singing techniques are mixed with African-American sacred music techniques.

“We will re-create a church atmosphere at the theater,” Roberts said in a interview. The audience “should be prepared to have church.”

In this gospel opera, three women are united in their grief and their faith: Mary, the mother of Jesus; Claudia, the wife of Pontius Pilot; and the mother of Judas Iscariot.

Robinson, well known throughout Winston-Salem and across the nation, retired from her post as NCBRC’s long-time artistic director earlier this year. Robinson will use her background as a dancer, choreographer, playwright and director to craft meaningful moments on the stage to accompany the production that was honored in 2007 by the BBC Concert Orchestra, Michael Terry Singers USA, and London Community Gospel Choirs.

Robinson said the show is a must-see production. She mentioned the play will be “spiritually uplifting” for all those who see it.

“The Gospel According to Broadway is both electrify-ing and spectacular,” Robinson said.

The production will be presented March 16-20 at the Arts Council Theatre located at 610 Coliseum Drive. Tickets are available at For additional information call the North Carolina Black Repertory office at (336) 723-2266.

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