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“ISAIAH” THE REGGAE OPERA – A BIG HIT AT QUEEN’S HALL IN TRINIDAD!

By ANGELA PIDDUCK—-

“ISAIAH” – a Reggae Opera, presented by The Missionaries of the Poor, took the country by storm last week-end.

Hundreds of music lovers packed Queen’s Hall for the four shows mounted in aid of Works Of The Missionaries Of The Poor of Jamaica. On this occasion the proceeds are specifically to care for orphan children in Kenya and for the Mothers and Babies Centre in Jamaica.

Had the opera run for a longer period of time, the Hall would have been sold out each time for this most unusual production based on the life of the prophet Isaiah, a man of great love who carried the terrible burden of the truth.

Produced by Father Richard Ho Lung, Founder and Father General of The Missionaries of the Poor (MOP), the audience had been promised the Jamaican musical style, strongly rooted in reggae, revival, mento, yet with moments of classical melodies and rhythms. “Fr Ho Lung and Friends,” ably supported by Trinidadian artistes, fulfilled them all with a powerful performance that was both biblical and thoroughly entertaining.The reggae beat was always in evidence but not the dancehall style which is always to the forefront in today’s soca.

This was a most amazing sacred concert of Caribbean music and song, life and love, all giving praise to God. Musical Director Wynton Williams, who played Isaiah, and Jon Williams, were clever in their arrangements of the music written in Caribbean styles as well as some classical styles for the play. The unusual sets and props were done by Servol instructors and their trainees.

Last Friday’s performance was preceded by an official opening ceremony with the National Anthems of both Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago played. This was followed by a message from Her Excellency Sharon Saunders, High Commissioner of Jamaica, who was absent; a short address from Reverend Msgr Robert Llanos, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Trinidad and Tobago; Rhonda Maingot, Director and Founder of Living Water Community. A quiet and profound thanks followed from Father Ho Lung, celebrating the MOP’s 30th anniversary in the service of God’s Church and his poor, as well as 40 years of performances by “Fr Ho Lung and Friends.”

Father Ho Lung, made a cameo appearance on stage just before the curtains closed for the intermission, during which a documentary projecting the works of the MOP was shown and gift boxes were passed through the Hall for donations from the audience.

A standing ovation was given at the final curtain in appreciation and thanks for a most entertaining and enjoyable evening.

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