We wrapped our first orchestral rehearsal a couple hours ago, and things are coming together beautifully. Elijah’s been a twinkle in Greg Funfgeld’s eye for quite some time, and it’s been a great delight to witness the whole large enterprise coming together. Our colleagues in the orchestra sound fantastic – it’s a beefy group with every available inch of stage real estate covered. The singers are extremely cozy, but there’s an amazing atmosphere of excitement. I understand from our fantastic Administrative Staff that the Bethlehem concert is on track to sell out, so, if you haven’t, order your tickets quickly! We’ve taken to the airwaves to promote this concert, and I have one more podcast to post, that of ArtScene with Erika Funke of WVIA. She and I spoke by phone on Monday, and she assembled a beautiful introduction to the relationship of Bach and Mendelssohn, which marvelously sets the context for this performance by our organization. You can listen to the podcast here. There are lots of musical examples, and we had a lively conversation previewing the performances.
We had a chance to hear Dashon Burton in the title role, and I can’t wait for our audiences to hear him as a Mendelssohnian baritone. His voice and presence is hair-raising. Our colleagues from Millersville are acquitting themselves very, very well, adding a youthful vigor to our sound, and their conductor, Mark Boyle, is also singing the tenor solos. I heard him for the first time tonight, and our audiences are in for a real treat. We also had a little taste of Rosa Lamoreaux’s singing of the soprano solos, and she sounds better than ever!
I’ll post another update tomorrow night, and then we journey to Millersville for the first performance on Saturday. If you’re lucky enough to have a ticket to the Bethlehem performance, be sure to plan to attend Greg Funfgeld’s pre-concert lecture at 3. He’s a brilliant musician, and also an eloquent and extremely insightful and articulate speaker. His introduction will add much richness to the experience of hearing Elijah! Stay tuned!