More than 200 community singers perform Mendelssohn's epic musical drama 'Elijah'
More than 200 singers, a full orchestra, and a group of soloists will fill the stage as the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech presents Felix Mendelssohn’s “Elijah” in collaboration with the Blacksburg Master Chorale, Virginia Tech Choirs, and the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra.
The event will be held Saturday May 3, at 8 p.m., in the Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, located within the Moss Arts Center’s Street and Davis Performance Hall at 190 Alumni Mall.
This intense musical drama depicts the major events in the life of the prophet Elijah. The story unfolds as a sequence of events structured to build two distinct climaxes, one for each half of the bipartite oratorio.
The first part begins as Elijah prophesies a devastating drought as punishment for the people’s acceptance of idols and reaches its climax when Elijah’s prayer for the return of life-restoring rain is answered. Part two finds the prophet confronting the ruling powers as Queen Jezebel rouses the people against him. He flees to the wilderness and faces abject despair but, in another powerful climax, is granted a vision of the Lord. Elijah continues to fulfill his mission and finally ascends to heaven in a chariot of fire. The concluding numbers suggest parallels between Elijah and the future Messiah.
For 26 years, the Blacksburg Master Chorale has performed creative and inspiring repertoire, sharing the beauty of choral music throughout the New River Valley. Members of the chorale represent a broad spectrum of the community, ranging from high school students to retirees. Former members now have musical careers with organizations such as the New York City Opera, the Metropolitan Opera, and Chanticleer. The chorale is currently led by artistic director and conductor, Dwight Bigler, assistant professor of music and director of choral activities at Virginia Tech.
The Blacksburg Master Chorale will perform Mendelssohn’s musical tale along with the Virginia Tech Choirs and the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra. Also performing are four featured soloists, including three Virginia Tech graduates – Robert Chafin, tenor; Branch Fields, bass; and Danielle Talamantes, soprano – as well as mezzo-soprano Katherine Pracht.
The Blacksburg Master Chorale is sponsored in part by Moog Components Group.
Tickets are $20-$30 for general public and $10 for students and youth 18 years old and under. Tickets can be purchased online; at the Moss Arts Center's box office, noon to 6 p.m. on Monday through Friday and noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday; or by calling 540-231-5300.
Parking is available in the North End Parking Garage on Turner Street. Virginia Tech faculty and staff possessing a valid Virginia Tech parking permit can enter and exit the garage free of charge. Event parking for visitors is $5. Event passes may be purchased in advance through the Center for the Arts box office or when entering the garage on event evenings. Limited street parking is also available. Parking on Alumni Mall is free on weekdays after 5 p.m. and on weekends.