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When little Martin Scorsese sang in the choir of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral in Little Italy, he didn't know that in 1826, the beautiful basilica had hosted an Italian opera company in an event that had forever changed America’s cultural landscape. Lost to history until recently, The Oratorio includes stories of the original performance that was New York's first Italian opera night. This watershed event stirred a wave of excitement and was followed by many more musical performances. Now, as musicians from both sides of the Atlantic are getting ready to restage the Oratorio, Scorsese tells the forgotten stories behind the cathedral and the music. The tales of colorful characters like Lorenzo Da Ponte who wrote the libretti for Mozart's operas, and Maria Malibran, a young singer considered opera’s first diva, are mixed with stories of immigrants and refugees. In all these stories, music acts as a bridge, or, in Scorsese's words, "music is the soul of the world."


Official Website

Buy Tickets
Screening Schedule:
  • Sat 03.07 | 10:00 | Tel Aviv Museum - Assia Auditorium
  • Sun 04.07 | 14:45 | Cinematheque 3
  • Sat 10.07 | 17:00 | Cinematheque 3
  • Watch online | The film will be available From July 1st until July 31st

JONATHAN MANN is the co-founder of Provenance Productions. Mann co-produced and co-wrote Do Not Duplicate (in which he also served as co-director), Half Sour, and Trashing History, and he created and produced the PBS series, Ethics in American Business, hosted by Walter Cronkite.

MARY ANNE ROTHBERG, a graduate of Stanford University with an MBA from Harvard University, has channeled her interest in people into a career in documentary filmmaking. Her work at Provenance Productions, which she co-founded, includes The Oratorio, Half Sour, Trashing History, and the award-winning Do Not Duplicate.

ALEX BAYER is a first-time director and long-time documentary film editor whose credits include ESPN's 30 for 30: Seau, the French documentary feature Connie, and the Shaquille O'Neal and Larry Gagosian produced Killer Bees. He has filled additional editing roles for films such as the Academy Award shortlisted documentary The Witness, the Sundance Audience Award winner This Is Home, the Sundance Official Selection Newtown, and the Tribeca Film Festival Official Selections Beyond the Notes and Famous Nathan. He has an insatiable love for history, an irreverent sense of humor, two cats and a dog.

Production: Jonathan Mann, Mary Anne Rothberg
Production Company: Provenance Productions
Editing: Alex Bayer
Cinematography: Jonathan Nelson
Sound Design: Dominic Bartolini
Music: Oratorio selections from Handel, Haydn, Cimarosa, Zingarelli and other classical music