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Rainy Day Thoughts on “Noah’s Flood”

   As much as we like to grumble when it rains we’ve got nothing on Noah, the Biblical patriarch who built the ark. This weekend “Noah’s Flood”, a one-act children’s opera described as “a magical musical experience for the entire family” will be performed on Saturday and Sunday, November 8th and 9th at 3 pm at the Arrigoni Center, Iona College, 58 Mayflower Avenue, New Rochelle. Tickets cost $8 for adults, $5 for seniors, $1 for children, with a $10 family rate for all. Tickets are available at the door. For further information, phone 914-654-8312.

     20th century composer Benjamin Britten was inspired to write “Noah’s Flood” by the Chester Cycle, one of the medieval Christian “mystery plays” performed in town squares on Feast Days by members of local guilds. Just as the mystery plays featured craftsmen and laborers, and not professional actors, Britten intended his work to be a community effort, performed by amateurs. In that spirit four Sound Shore arts groups – NRCA, the Sound Shore Chorale, Songcatchers and Tutti Bravi Productions — have combined to create this production, bringing together more than 90 musicians, singers, set designers and costume artists. The cast includes Cantors Erik Contzius and Fredda Mendelson as Mr. & Mrs. Noah and Dr. Domenic Guastaferro, known to generations of New Rochelle High School music students, as the Voice of God. Pulling it all together were Director Dianne Flagello and Producer Billie Tucker, both NRCA Board members (and local musical legends), along with Richard Slade, director of the Sound Shore Chorale, as Musical Director/Conductor; Sister Beth Dowd, found of Songcatchers, as the Children’s Choral Director; Kathryn Wiegand as Assistant Musical Director; and Diane Guernsey as music accompanist.

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