Backstage at San Francisco Opera > June 2013 > Seven Times Seven
Seven Times Seven
One of the most riveting scenes of Mark Adamo's opera The Gospel of Mary Magdalene occurs when Peter is overcome with grief for having denied Jesus three times before his crucifixion.

As the stage is bathed in blood red light, Peter falls to his knees, wailing, "How many times will I remember this? Seven times seven?" This moment of anguish has inspired other composers to some of their most dramatic and poignant music as well.

The final work of the great Renaissance composer Orlande de Lassus, performed just three weeks before he died, is Lagrimae di Pietro (Saint Peter's Tears). A spiritual madrigal depicting Peter's lifelong remorse, it is a piece of stunning beauty based on the number seven which has been compared in musical complexity to Bach's Art of the Fugue.

St. Peter by Jose De Ribera
Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia
To learn more about the Mary Magdalene check out this super informative informational video by Kayleen Asbo:


Kayleen Asbo is a cultural historian and musician who is writing a dissertation on Mary Magdalene. Her lecture series on Mary Magdalene is available at She will be leading question and answer sessions following each performance of The Gospel of Mary Magdalene.
Posted: 6/27/2013 3:07:53 PM by Kayleen Asbo
Filed under: 2012-13Season, Adamo, TheGospelOfMaryMagdalene


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