Cincinnati May Festival to perform Bernstein’s ‘Mass’ for first time in 46 years


Cincinnati was the first city to perform Leonard Bernstein’s controversial “Mass" after its 1971 world premiere.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis had asked the composer for a piece to open the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., but its blend of Latin Mass, rock ‘n’ roll and the questioning of faith made it a controversial work that offended the Roman Catholic Church. Some cities canceled performances. The FBI warned President Richard Nixon that the Latin text might have coded anti-war messages,…

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