Blackheath Halls triumphs with Mendelssohn’s Elijah

Elijah -Matthew Rose -body

Trinity Laban vocal students Susanna Buckle, Louise Fuller, Georgia Bishop, Thomas Drew and Steven East performed to great acclaim recently in Mendelssohn's Elijah, alongside the Blackheath Halls Orchestra and Chorus and with Matthew Rose in the lead role.

Emily Owen from Bachtrack said of the performance at St John's Smith Square: "The energy was never lost and the orchestra reflected the joy and positivity of the singers, which was wonderful to behold- a triumph…. The solo roles in Elijahare many and varied and these were divided evenly between the professional quartet and the Trinity Laban students. The double quartet all "He shall give his angels" in the first half really displayed the incredible musicianship of the young singers and the balance was simply lovely - an oasis of calm in the midst of the drama and action."

Elijah was performed as part of the Blackheath Halls Community Engagement programme, which brought together musicians from across South East London. The Trinity Laban students shared solo parts of the performance with Matthew Rose, who also gives masterclasses at the conservatoire, and other professional vocalists.

Under the experienced baton of Edward Gardner, the balance of musicianship between students and professionals was warmly received by the audience.

Elijah is an oratorio in English written by Mendelssohn in 1846 for the Birmingham Festival. It depicts various events in the life of the Biblical prophet Elijah, taken from the books 1 Kings and 2 Kings in the Old Testament.

The piece was composed in the spirit of Mendelssohn's Baroque predecessors Bach and Handel, whose music he loved. The work is scored for four vocal soloists (bass/baritone, tenor, alto, soprano), full symphony orchestra (including trombones, ophicleide, organ) and a large chorus singing usually in four, but occasionally eight or three (women only) parts. The title role is sung by the bass/baritone

Picture - Matthew Rose as Elijah. Credit Adam Kang

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