James (book of ruth) : a dramatic oratorio
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james (book of ruth) is a choral oratorio written by composer Steven Serpa and librettist Zac Kline. It presents the story of James, an HIV+ man, and the loss he suffers because of the disease. James loses the man he loves to the physical ravages of HIV/AIDS, while he loses his family and community through fear and stigma. Many HIV+ men and women live with this virus as a dark, shameful secret; afraid it will be found out and will jeopardize their careers and the relationships they have built with loved ones and their communities. This work was commissioned as part of an initiative to engage with local communities. The goal is to share a story of struggle in the hope of fostering acceptance and empathy for those suffering the emotional toll of HIV stigma and further educate the public to curb that stigma.