Arts & Faith St. Louis’ multimedia opera, ‘The Cave,’ aims to bind Abrahamic faiths together

Mar 6, 2017

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An upcoming production from Arts & Faith St. Louis aims to connect Jewish, Christian and Muslim people together in the shared traditions and history of the Abrahamic faiths.

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, we discussed the production, a multimedia opera called “The Cave.”

David Greenhaw, the president of Eden Theological Seminary, views people of Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths as cousins — with all the good and bad that comes along with being a member of the same family.

"Families don't always agree but they are bound together,” Greenhaw said. “That binding is what we're after with ‘The Cave.’”

The cave referenced in the production is the Cave of Hebron, the burial place of Sarah and Abraham.

“It is a place holy to all three Abrahamic faiths,” said Mont Levy, who is the chair of the project and the community programming initiative with Arts & Faith St. Louis. “The piece gives us an opportunity to focus on the shared history, with common roots with distinct narratives that give us a wonderful vehicle to reflect on our common patriarch and talk about how we view the world differently.”

The libretto to the opera was written based on interviews done from 1989 to 1991 with Israeli Jews, Muslims from West Jerusalem and Americans. The music, written by Steve Reich, will be performed by Alarm Will Sound alongside a video created by Beryl Korot.

“The libretto is very relevant now and I think this topic will be relevant for centuries to come,” said Dr. Ghazala Hayat, a past president of the Interfaith Partnership and chair of the public relations committee with the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis. “It is kind of like a family history or story: you have common things in the family, you have some disagreements … and also how staying together is helpful rather than finding differences.”

The performances themselves are combined with several corollary community conversations (view those here). Listen as Hayat, Levy and Greenhaw reflect on the production and its importance in American conversation right now:

Related Event

What: Arts & Faith St. Louis presents The Cave, a multimedia opera with music by Steve Reich and video by Beryl Korot, featuring Alarm Will Sound and four vocalists
When: Saturday, March 11 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 12 at 2 p.m.
Where: John Burroughs School, 755 S. Price Road, St. Louis, MO, 63124
More information.

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary EdwardsAlex Heuer and Kelly Moffitt give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.