Saturday, April 2, 2016

Elijah - 7.30 pm, Thursday 21 April 2016

On Thursday 21 April the Vaughan School Choir will sing Mendelssohn's great choral masterpiece, Elijah. The Choir will be joined by the Belgravia Chamber Orchestra and four remarkable soloists.

Three of the soloists appeared in last year's performance of Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius, mezzo soprano Diana Moore, tenor Peter Davoren and baritone David Soar. For Elijah they will be joined by renowned soprano Sarah Fox.

Elijah tells of main events in the life of the prophet through a series of scenes. First we hear that Israel is suffering a drought and the chorus cry out for help.  In their desperation, they have resorted to worshipping Baal, ancient god of lightening, thunder, and rain. Elijah brings the widow Zarephath's dead son back to life before angels arrive to urge Elijah to perform a miracle and reform the people
But when the now-proven Elijah returns to the people, they reject him as a troublemaker. Elijah calls down a consuming fire from the heavens, which convinces everyone to turn again to God. They launch prayers for rain, bringing only a little white cloud at first and then, finally, the longed-for waters that “laveth the thirsty land,” a downward rush of musical scales. In ridding the land of Baal worship, Elijah has challenged King Ahab, ruler of Israel. His wife, Queen Jezebel, incites the crowd against Elijah. Disheartened Elijah awaits God on Mount Horeb, longing for death.  Elijah’s hope resurfaces and a fiery chariot drawn by fiery horses comes in a whirlwind and takes Elijah into the heaven.

This is a wonderful work, full of drama, colour, and moments of exceptional beauty. Do please join us if you possibly can at St James's, Spanish Place, starting at 7.30 pm. 


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