PUBLICITY RELEASE FOR THE BALLARAT SYPHONY ORCHESTRA WITH THE BALLARAT CHORAL
SOCIETY AND THE GISBORNE SINGERS’ FORTHCOMING CONCERTS IN LATE NOVEMBER, 2013
The Ballarat Symphony Orchestra with the Ballarat Choral Society and the Gisborne Singers
will perform Mendelssohn’s magnificent romantic oratorio ‘Elijah’ conducted by Stephen Brockman.
Performances will be on Sunday 17th November at 2.30 m at Wendouree Centre for Performing
Arts, 1220 Howitt St, Wendouree and Sunday 24th November also at the earlier time of 2.30pm
at St Ambrose Parish Hall, Cnr Templeton and Anslow Sts, Woodend. Please note there will be only one performance in the Macedon Ranges.
The group of 80 singers and 4 professional soloists will perform this work with organ and
full symphony orchestra. The soloists are all well-known to audiences in the Macedon Ranges. They comprise
Eleanor Kerr (Soprano),Charlotte Betts-Dean (Mezzo Soprano), Robert Barbaro (Tenor) and Manfred Pohlenz as Bass who sings the part of ‘Elijah.’
Mendelssohn’s inspiration for ‘Elijah’ followed the success of his first oratorio—St Paul. The idea of one based on the life of the Old Testament prophet ‘Elijah’ particularly appealed to him. However, it was ten years later that the final work was completed after a number of false starts. The piece was composed in the spirit of Mendelssohn’s Baroque predecessors Bach and Handel, whose music he loved. In 1829, Mendelssohn had organized the first performance of Bach’s St Matthew Passion, since the composer’s death, and was instrumental in bringing this and other Bach works to widespread popularity.
The first ‘Elijah’ performance, conducted by Mendelssohn himself, took place on 26th August 1846 at the Birmingham Town Hall in England. Two thousand people packed into the hall for the eagerly-awaited event. It was an unprecedented success with no less than four arias and four choruses being encored.
In a letter to his brother, he said, ‘No work of mine went so admirably the first time, or was
received with such enthusiasm by both musicians and audience.’ Elijah has been frequently performed, particularly in English-speaking countries. Its easy appeal and stirring choruses have provided the basis for many successful performances.
It was without doubt the crowning glory of Mendelssohn’s successful career, but tragically it was to prove his last major triumph. He died on 4th November 1847 at the tender age of 38. It certainly was a tragedy that someone of that calibre could die with so much music still in him.
Tickets---Ballarat—available at the Wendouree Centre on 5338 0980 or at the door.
Tickets for Woodend—go to www.gisbornesingers.org.au or Corinne on 5426 4649.
Macedon Ranges patrons are strongly advised to book early, to avoid disappointment,
as seating is strictly limited.