The Carpenter’s Cross

 

 
The Carpenter’s Cross, an opera from the Don Bosco Oratory Production is India’s first original rock opera that comes in the Year of Faith. Directed and composed by Alfie Silveira and produced by Rev Fr Ralin D’Souza is ideal to reflect on the Gospel this Lenten season
The Carpenter’s Cross, an opera from the Don Bosco Oratory Production is India’s first original rock opera that comes in the Year of Faith. Directed and composed by Alfie Silveira and produced by Rev Fr Ralin D’Souza is ideal to reflect on the Gospel this Lenten season
By Cedric Silveira
 
It was around 5 years ago that Alfie Silveira thought of staging a play from the Gospel. However, the problem of patents and their cost was too difficult to handle. It was then that Alfie decided on composing his own opera. But still the story eluded him.
 
One day while buying some nails in a hardware shop, he wondered how big the nails that were hammered into Jesus’ hands and legs were. This thought drew an association with wood and subsequently the cross came to his mind. 
 
Says Alfie, “I then wondered as to who could have made the cross on which Jesus was crucified. It is said in the Bible that Jesus cured a withered right hand of a man. Now the right hand is the most important hand for a person, especially for a carpenter. I then started to imagine what if the man whom Jesus cured had been the same carpenter who made the cross on which Jesus was crucified. Going further I then thought perhaps it was this carpenter, whom I call Stephen, who had made the cross and was then so full of remorse that he laid down his life for God by becoming the first martyr of the Church as he proclaimed the word of God”. This story formed the basis of Alfie’s opera called as “The Carpenter’s Cross”
 
The opera which incidentally is also India’s first original rock opera comes in the Year of Faith. The cast comprises of talented musicians. Roy D’Sa of Crimson Tide plays the role of Jesus. Melwin Noronha who was the ‘Voice of Goa’ some years back plays the part of Stephen. Then there is Aditi Silveira a powerful singer who plays the part of Mary Magdalene. Clifford or Cliff, a former member of Tidal waves, is the high priest Herschek, the lead singer of the Big city band is Peter, Debashish Majumdar, runner up of Voice of Goa is John while Vinda plays the part of blessed Mary. Further there is Cassian Fernandes from the Alcaltrazz band playing the part of the Devil, and Cecile has done the choreography for the musical. Most of the cast are working individuals and it was a miracle in itself to get the cast together from their busy schedules for practices.
 
The Carpenter’s Cross which is a Don Bosco Oratory Production has Alfie as the director and composer, Rev Fr Ralin D’Souza as the producer, and Alfin Fernandes as the sequencer and arranger of the music. Says Fr Ralin, “This musical is coming out at a time when one is deep in Lent and should be ideal to reflect on the Gospel.” Adds Aditi who plays Mary Magdalene and was part of the team of another musical, Godspell, last year, “The entire cast comprises of musicians from whom I got to learn a lot. The experience of interacting with them was very fruitful and will go a long way in my life.” No opera is complete without the support staff and this time around Funkyheads, Assis D’Souza and Bobby Godhinho have rendered their services free of cost. Funkyheads has sponsored the stage and backstage, Assis has given the sound, lights and generator, while Bobby Godinho has sponsored the projectors and cameras.
 
(The opera is to be staged on March 14, 15, 16 and 17 at the Don Bosco grounds, Panaji, and on the inaugural day – March 14 – an audio CD of this musical will also be released) [NT]