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CLARKSTON, Ga.—Environmentalism and social justice will take center stage this month during an opera composed and directed by Amy Leventhal, a viola instructor at Georgia State University’s Perimeter College.
“Our Sacred World” will debut on Saturday, Jan. 21, at 7:30 p.m. in the Marvin Cole Auditorium, 3735 Memorial College Ave., Clarkston, Georgia, 30021. The event is free and open to the public.
Leventhal says her concern for destructive practices toward planet Earth is what inspired the two-hour long libretto and music for “Our Sacred World.”
“Climate change and what our whole humanity is facing are some really important things right now,” said Leventhal, an instructor of music at Perimeter College since 2008.
“I wanted to write an opera that would encourage people to think about caring for our planet…and because I love humor and I love fantasy and I love science fiction—all of those elements are in the opera.”
“Our Sacred World” is the third opera that Leventhal has written in eight years, but it’s the first for which she has written both the text and musical composition.
In the opera, the main character, “Mother Earth”—as performed by mezzo soprano Gretchen Krupp—is unhappy with the way humans are treating her, so she decides to seduce “Big Money” and teach him a lesson. Other featured characters include “Mine Mine Mine,” whose focus is on owning lots of things and “Tyrannicus,” an evil man set on world domination.
“Our Sacred World” will showcase singers and also dancers from Full Radius Dance, a company under the direction of Douglas Scott.
In addition, Leventhal says the production is stacked with a number of theatre notables, including filmmaker Felipe Barral, who works with the Atlanta Opera Company. Barral will film the stage presentation of “Our Sacred World” for a future film production.
Leventhal acknowledges that environmental and social issues are hot button topics, but she says her overarching goal with “Our Sacred World” is to encourage not admonish.
“I want us to love Mother Earth,” she said.
“I want us to have a love fest with each other and our planet—maybe just understanding that we all could benefit from loving care.”
Although “Our Sacred World” is free and open to the public, donations will be accepted and used to support the Perimeter College Theatre Arts Guild in memory of alumna and long-time fine arts staff member Jennifer Jenkins who passed away in 2021.