As Christians around the world prepare to celebrate Easter and the Jewish community prepares for the annual week of Pesach (Passover), the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra debuted a fitting piece for the season with “The Passion of Yeshua”.

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With award winning composer Richard Danielpour on hand, the BPO, the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus, 37 members of the UCLA Chamber Singers, Matthew Worth, Kenneth Overton, Hila Pitmann, J’Nai Bridges, Timothy Fallon and James Bass performed the original Oratorio.

Performed in English and Hebrew, The Passion uses the Biblical text from Isaiah 53 as its foundation to tell the story of the final 24 hours of Jesus’ – Yeshua – life.

Unlike the endless remade and reimagined films from Hollywood filmmakers, The Passion is a flashback on the life of Jesus in music.

A contemporary classical piece written for Joann Falletta and the BPO, the composition could easily be made into a operatic performance.

Contemporaries at the Juliard School of Music in New York City Danielpour referred to Falletta as a future national treasure; adding that she is a true servant of the music.

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Speaking on the composition that took him two years to complete, Danielpour said that the two women in the piece – Israeli born Hila Pitmann as Miryan Magdala (Mary Magdalane) and J’Nai Bridges as Miryam (Mary mother of Jesus) wee the anchors to the work. He also chose to have the roles of Kefa (Peter) and Pontus Pilate portrayed by the same performer – Timothy Fallon – because they were both deeply loyal men who had questions when it came to Jesus…and, hey, one tenor on stage is enough.

A very powerful work that demands an emotional response from the listener; the Sunday afternoon performance of “The Passion of Yeshua” was recorded live for a future CD release in what musical director Joann Falletta called one of the BPO’s greatest moments on stage.

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