Rosza-A Rock Opera Based on the Rosary
My mother was Jewish. Even as a teenager in Hungary, the daughter of a religious Jewish family, shortly before the horrors of the Holocaust, she had intimations from the Blessed Mother. She did not fully understand, but she told me that Mary had saved her from Auschwitz, where almost all of her family was destroyed. Although I was raised Catholic I was never particularly interested in the Rosary, nor did I say it very often. But when my mother died in 1985, I was compelled to begin saying the Rosary daily immediately. It was as though my mother's death had given me a new mother, Mary, the mother of us all. I have said the rosary daily ever since. At St. Mary's Church in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey, there is a stained-glass, rose-window which frames the Blessed Mother above the altar. Once at Mass while contemplating that window the thought occurred to me to write a rock opera based on the Rosary. But since my strength as a songwriter has always been lyrical, I knew I could never accomplish it musically. Then in 1990 I began my songwriting association with Lou Leo from Boston. Lou is an excellent singer, musician, composer, arranger, and producer. I suggested he write the music based on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary. Both of us found the task intimidating and daunting, but we began the project in 2000 and we finished it in 2004. The word rosza is derived from the Hungarian word for rose. The word rosary means a garland of roses. Each prayer of the Rosary can be seen as a rose of offering to Our Lord, and a petition of intercession to Our Mother, who is sometimes called the Mystical Rose. Many people who have heard Rosza claim it's incredibly powerful and inspiring. Some have said it helps them visualize the mysteries much better through the lyrics and Lou Leo's beautiful melodies and singing. Sample the songs and see for yourself. George Stephen Pereny Pompton Lakes, New Jersey November 13, 2004.