Mendelssohn’s Elijah, a stirring, dramatic oratorio that is one of the most popular of all choral works, will be presented by the Eastman-Rochester Chorus, Eastman Chorale, and Eastman School Symphony Orchestra at 8 p.m. Friday, May 2, in Eastman Theatre. The performance is free and open to the public.
Elijah is considered Mendelssohn’s greatest work, on par with Handel’s Messiah and Haydn’s The Creation. Its premiere in 1846, one year before the composer died at the age of 38, was wildly successful and Elijah is frequently performed to this day. The oratorio is based on Biblical passages from the Old Testament. It depicts various events in the life of the prophet Elijah, including the resurrection of a dead youth, the end of a terrible drought, and the prophet’s ascent into heaven.
William Weinert, professor of conducting and ensembles and director of choral activities at the Eastman School of Music, will conduct the Eastman School ensembles. Baritone soloist Yongmin Kim as Elijah will be supported by an outstanding cast of Eastman voice students, including sopranos Kathryn Louise Lewek, Sarah Sensenig, Julia Bullock, and Meghan Attridge; mezzo-sopranos Lauren Iezzi, Julia Teitel, and Ashlee Bickley; tenors Jason Lee and Kyle Knapp; baritone Andrew Bawden; and bass Taylor Ward.
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Mendelssohn’s Elijah, presented by the Eastman-Rochester Chorus, Eastman Chorale, and Eastman School Symphony Orchestra. William Weinert, conductor.
Eastman Theatre, 60 Gibbs St.