The Devil Came Up to Boston for Cerise Lim Jacobs’ New Opera, “REV. 23”

By Charles Geyer for La Scene Musicale

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Michael Mayes (Lucifer) and Michael Maniaci (Archangel Michael) in Rev. 23. Photo: Kathy Wittman and Ball Square Films

REVIEW of REV. 23, a new comic opera that sees beyond the End of Days, conceived and written by Cerise Lim Jacobs, with a score by Julian Wachner; performed September 29, September 30, and October 1, 2017 at Boston’s John Hancock Hall; viewed here September 30 and October 1.

The End was at hand, and it was a devil of a good time.

The city of Boston recently got a privileged, early glimpse of the Apocalypse – and beyond – courtesy of resident visionary, opera-maker, and eschatologist nonpareil, Cerise Lim Jacobs, who not only conceived and wrote the libretto for REV. 23, but commissioned its composer and produced the work via her White Snake Projects, a not-for-profit organization committed to presenting new opera as well as making meaningful educational and development contributions to the community at large.
Billed as “a farcical hellish opera,” REV. 23 purports to reveal the contents of a previously unknown Chapter 23 of St. John’s Book of Revelation. Until now, the canonical Christian Bible concluded with Revelation‘s 22nd chapter and its saccharine prognostications of eternal peace in a land irrigated by the “pure river of water of life” where “there shall be no night.”
But Jacobs glances beyond all of that. Wryly claiming to be not the author but a mere mystic scribe, receiving St. John’s dictation of this explosive, previously withheld material, she has created what is tantamount to a Tartarean tabloid exposé – regaling us, fascinating us, and scandalizing us with a spectacle of hella trouble in Paradise.

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Source: Opera stories from La Scena

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