A remake: Jesus in words and miracles

It was one of the biggest music projects that the New Apostolic Church has ever staged. Now there are plans for a remake. The pop oratorio “I am! Jesus in words and miracles” will be restaged in 2018.

The story is about a turning-point in the life of a burglar. With some accomplices the man breaks into an art gallery to steal a certain work of art. In the process he comes upon pictures illustrating the life of Jesus, which lead him to reflect and come away with new insights.

Gigantic stage for a joint project

The scenes from the gospel of John were staged big time in Germany three years ago. The choir that supported the actors and soloists was made up of nearly 1,500 young choristers. The two-hour spectacle was accompanied by a band and a 120-strong youth orchestra.

More than 20,000 people saw the two performances in June 2013. The first one was in Dortmund’s Westphalia Hall and the second one in Hamburg’s O2-Arena. There was a good reason for these two venues: the pop oratorio was a joint project of the District Churches North Rhine-Westphalia and Northern Germany.

More than a repetition

Shortly after the two performances there were calls for more. This wish will be fulfilled on 16 June 2018 at the Day of the Youth in Leipzig (Germany). Following the merger of the two districts Central Germany and Northern Germany, the new District Church sees itself in a position to stage the oratorio with musicians from its own ranks.

“I want to give all the youth in my working area the opportunity to get involved, also those outside of Germany,” the responsible District Apostle Rüdiger Krause writes in a circular to all the ministers and youth facilitators in his working area. He is confident that this project will bring the participants closer together.

Preparations are underway

The initial preparations are underway. At the beginning of the week, the first meeting took place at the Church offices in Hamburg. The first rehearsals have been scheduled for the year 2017. These decentralized rehearsals will be followed by combined rehearsals in 2018.

There are still many open questions. But this much is clear: key players will be involved again, like the band with Sigi Hänger and Christoph Oellig, who composed the pop oratorio. So will the director, Benjamin Stoll, who may set different accents in this new production.

The music and artistic director will again be Gerrit Junge. “There is a lot of preparation work ahead of us,” he writes on his Facebook page. “But we are highly motivated and are looking forward to an exciting project.”

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Andreas Rother
youth service, Music