Met Opera's Lauren Flanigan To Star In Must-See Cultural Event FLIGHT OF THE IBIS

Met Opera's Lauren Flanigan To Star In Must-See Cultural Event FLIGHT OF THE IBIS

The Metropolitan Opera star Lauren Flanigan will lead the cast of Alan Roland's culturally and politically relevant play Flight of the Ibis which will receive a special one-night-only performance Sunday, April 29 at 3PM in the Theatre of The Riverside Church (91 Claremont Ave. at West 120th St.).

With original music by Yo Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble member Kinan Azmeh and direction from Beth Greenberg (formerly with NYC Opera), the performance will be followed by a riveting discussion panel with Foreign Service Officer and former Director of Religion and Global Affairs at the U.S. State Department, Rachel Leslie; President & Founder of Cordoba House, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf (named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World); Minister of Justice & Advocacy at The Riverside Church Reverend Bertram Johnson; Associate Rabbi, Congregation Rodeph Sholom, Benjamin Spratt; and playwright Alan Roland.

The panel will be moderated by Professor Katherine Pratt Ewing who is Director of the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life, Columbia University which is co-sponsoring the event with Cordoba House ( Cordoba is dedicated to building bridges with the interfaith community and promoting a distinctively compassionate, spiritual, and pluralistic American Muslim identity.

Tickets are $20 ($10/students) and can be purchased at

A musical, mystical & psychological drama, Flight of the Ibis is a powerful & imaginative exploration of the spiritual underpinnings of the Umayyad Caliphate in 10th century Cordoba, Spain, the most culturally advanced country in medieval Europe, with remarkable interfaith harmony. Simultaneously, the play depicts the psychological elements that undermine this enlightened state: a paranoid fixation on enemies, megalomania, self-aggrandizement, illicit methods, and over reaching. That these elements occur in the protagonists, rather than the seeming antagonist, bespeaks their presence to some extent in everyone.

The production will feature lighting & projections from award winning lighting designer Dennis Parichy. Joining Flanigan in the cast will be veteran stage & screen actors Kip Gilman and James DeMarse, Jacqueline Knapp, Juan Rivera and dancer Korhan Basaran.

Alan Roland, Ph.D. is a playwright/librettist, a psychoanalyst who has written three books on the psychology of Indians, Japanese and Asian Americans, and one on the artist and the creative process. He is also an exhibiting visual artist. He is a Training Analyst at the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis.

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