The Woodward News

December 6, 2013

'Two from Galilee' performances set

Rowynn Ricks
Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. — The public will have 3 chances to see a performance of the modern Christian opera "Two From Galilee" at the First Baptist Church of Woodward next weekend.

The performances are set for 7 p.m. on Dec. 13 and Dec. 14 and 6 p.m. on Dec. 15 at the church, which is located at 202 E. Hanks Trail.

Les Castor, music minister at First Baptist Church, is directing the opera, which he says tells "the love story of Mary and Joseph including their betrothal and them making their way to Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus."

Castor said the story was originally written by Marjorie Holmes and later set to music by Robert Sterling and Karla Worley.

He said the play is "very close in nature to an opera" because unlike musicals where there are a few songs mixed in with spoken dialogue, "Two From Galilee" is almost all songs with only a little dialogue.

"About 90 percent of this is sung and even with the dialogue there's often music running under the dialogue," he said.

In addition to romance, Castor said the play is also "intertwined with a bit of humor."  He said this will be most evident in the scene where the 3 kings discover a new star and decide to follow it to Bethlehem, where they will join in the celebration of the birth of Jesus.

"If you want to experience the true meaning of Christmas then you won't want to miss this show," Castor said.

The show is free to attend and no tickets are required, he said.

"We do have some people handing out these little ticket-like things, but it just has the dates and times and is intended just as a reminder; you don't have to have it to get in," he said.

Doors will open an hour before show time each evening.

But since there are no tickets, Castor said "it's basically first come, first served as far as seating; there is no reserved or numbered seating."

However, he said that people don't need to worry about the event "selling out," because the auditorium at the church can seat nearly 900 people, so there should be plenty of room.

Castor said the show will last about an hour and a half and will include a number of "unforgettable" songs that help to provide "a simple understanding of the birth of Christ, the greatest story ever told."

"They'll go away after the show and wake up the next morning hearing the songs in their head," he said, noting "It it absolutely breathtaking music, just gorgeous."

Bringing those songs to life will be a cast of about 75 people, Castor said.

The following is a list of the singers portraying the major roles:

• Mary and Joseph - Sarah and Jacob Kamolz

• Mary's parents Hannah and Joachim - Jan Smith and Jason Covalt

• Joesph's parents Timna and Jacob - Janice Brown and Bruce Gay

• 3 kings: Balthazar - Steve Oblandar, Melchior - Greg Nuse, Kaspar - Charlie Burns

• Gabriel, the angel who announces the birth of Jesus - Les Castor

• Baby Jesus - Baby Luthi

Castor said the other cast members will play the roles of other angels and of various street people in Galilee.

He said the cast also includes a number of children, noting "it's a very family friendly show."