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Thursday, July 13, 2006

A Cantor's New Gig


Cantor Charles Osborne is back.

The 56-year-old Newton resident has composed more than 100 choral settings of liturgy and sacred texts; four oratorios; a symphony; and concertos for the flute, guitar, and viola -- including works performed in Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.

But for better or worse, he is best known locally for walking out of Newton's Temple Emanuel -- where he served as cantor for 18 years -- in the middle of a service after an associate rabbi gave an impassioned sermon in March calling on Conservative Jews to sanction gay marriage.

Osborne is back, this time with his own music-oriented congregation. He says the emphasis will be on harmony, not discord as he helps establish the new Adath Shir Rinah, which translates to "Congregation Song of Joy." The temple will open its doors on Sept. 1, though where those doors will be has yet to be determined.

Osborne said that he hopes that gays and lesbians would feel comfortable joining his new congregation.

“Everybody has the right to live their life with acceptance and dignity,” said Osborne. “I don’t think that this [gay marriage] is in any way, shape, or form, a black and white issue.”

Read more about Osborne's new endeavor in this Sunday's Globe West.

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