Rockdale Temple hosted the Cincinnati Opera and their popular summer concert series, which takes opera performances into local houses of worship. This is the first time the Opera took the summer program—now in its seventh season—to a Jewish synagogue. More than 400 attended the July 22 event featuring a combination of Jewish liturgical music along with several selections performed by members of the Cincinnati Opera Company. “It is appropriate that the region’s oldest Jewish congregation would host one of the oldest opera companies in the United States,” said Rabbi Sigma Faye Coran, senior rabbi at the Amberley Village synagogue. Rockdale Temple, founded in 1824, continues to be at the forefront of innovative cross-cultural programming. The Cincinnati Opera dates back to its first performances in 1920 and is now marking its 92nd Summer Festival. “We are particularly proud of Rockdale’s history of community partnerships,” said Rabbi Coran.
Rockdale’s Adult Choir and Rock Shabbat band performed several selections including music from the weekly Shabbat liturgy. “Music is such an integral part of the Jewish tradition,” added Rabbi Coran. “Opera Goes to Temple gives us the opportunity to share our tradition with others in the community who appreciate the spiritual qualities of music.”
Tenor Stephen Costello, Bass-baritone Thom Mariner, Sopranos Ailyn Perez and Mary Elizabeth Southworth and Mezzo-Soprano Stacey Rishoi each performed. Southworth also directs the Rockdale Adult Choir and serves as Musical Director for the congregation’s High Holy Day services. Musicians Amanda Bell, Christopher Koon, Susan Marshall-Petersen and Carol Walker also performed. Koon serves as organist for Rockdale Temple as well as a number of local churches.