The first-ever performance of “Godspeed,” a new musical with music and lyrics by Samuel [Sammy] Oriti, is due to open on Friday, April 15, 2011, at The Grove Theater on 9th Street in Upland, California.
|Sammy Oriti at “Godspeed”
headquarters in Burbank
Oriti told the ASSIST News Service, “‘Godspeed,’ presents the life and ministry of Jesus through stage in rock opera Gospel accuracy, and we are now casting for experienced singers with a love for music and God, to be part of the show.”
He said that producer Sherry Kinison at The Grove is in charge of casting and added that “accomplished male and female singers” should send their resumes by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“All resumes must be in by Monday March 28th. Godspeed to you!” he said. “Rehearsals start on March 15th.”
Oriti, a committed Christian who comes originally from the Jersey Shore, has been working on the project for many years now. He said that “faith” has been the producer of “Godspeed” all of the time.
“I was nobody that anyone would invest money in,” he said. “It must have been God putting it on the hearts of some friends to help me deliver my vision.”
|Logo for the show|
Once funded for the recordings Oriti said it was about eight months of work in the studio to produce the CD of his extraordinary work.
But after the successful recording of Godspeed, came the struggle to take it to the next step – a theatrical performance.
“I wrestled with God for years, in tears, because wherever I would bring the master recordings, whether it be a major church, praise TV network, or a possible investor, the door was closed.”
So, along with his friend, Jozy Pollock, a wonderful UK-born Christian who became a prison chaplain and is well-known in Hollywood circles, they got to work.
Sammy said that he, and Jozy, ran “here and there” trying to get backing to put on the show, but without any real success.
“Now seeing that people in China are downloading ‘Godspeed’s’ iPhone app, and how the world has changed due to the Internet, I now realize the potential partners God has in mind may be overseas. I had no way until now to network on an international level,” said Sammy.
“The message of Godspeed needs to be heard, and the time is now,” Oriti went on to say. “It’s packaged for today. The Gospel is there in song, in text and in spirit. Like Job’s friends I have heard everything from, ‘Why don’t you make it Country”? to ‘It’s not heavy metal enough.’ Although they are not bad suggestions, I’m just not the guy for either of those.
“God has His people in those arenas as well. I see my life’s love of music, my life’s love of scripture and the foundation of our faith in Godspeed. I see pastors of congregations taking the stage after the performance and delivering a summary of what was just seen. I see benefits for para-church ministries, and in house campaigns for organizations that support care relief work in other countries. God uses our gifts to help people.
“At the end of the day, here is a musical that is church-friendly, believer-friendly and does not deviate from the historic Christian faith. And it is quite grandiose. How will they hear without a preacher…right?”
The music is available now at iTunes. All you do is search for “Godspeed Opera.”
There is also a free App for the iPhone which you can get if you go to their App store, and search for Godspeed. The iPhone App was built by a pastor in Denver named Rick White.
Sammy said, “Rick worked for it for a long time in faith…no charge.”
He explained that after his Christian conversion in Los Angeles, “I suddenly had a hunger to study the Word of God and also visions of a theatrical musical in the flavor of what I grew up listening too and loved, and it became ‘Godspeed, A rock Opera’.
“I spent a few years on and off writing ‘Godspeed’, grand melodies while trying not to stray from the text as it would be read in context, yet had to be able to be sung, melodically. That is to me what ‘Godspeed’ really is and makes it different than the other famous works. I believe God used them even though they both do not portray scripture correctly in the lyrics. Some parts and pieces were correct, but only a Christian who studies the Bible would know the difference.”