Eastman-Rochester Chorus, Eastman Chorale and Eastman School Symphony Orchestra will perform Mendelssohn’s “Elijah” at 8 p.m. on May 4 in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, 26 Gibbs St., Rochester.
Conducted by William Weinert, professor of conducting and ensembles at Eastman School of Music, the title role will be sung by Jan Opalach, associate professor of voice. East High School Chorus will join performers for “Lift Thine Eyes,” conducted by Jodi Zajkowski.
This performance features 10 Eastman student soloists: Claire Caverly, Lauren Nash Silberstein and Virginia Sheffield, sopranos; Maire Carmack, Kathie Kane, Kayleigh Sutula and Mariya Vasilevskaya, mezzo-sopranos; Kevin Bryant and Marcus Jefferson, tenors; and Mark Hosseini, baritone.
Sung in two parts, Mendelssohn’s oratorio depicts events in the life of the Biblical prophet Elijah, taken from the Old Testament books of First and Second.
“Mendelssohn’s ‘Elijah’ could not be more shockingly relevant to today,” said Weinert, director of choral activities at Eastman. “A prophet risks his life by standing up to say, ‘No — what we are doing as a society is evil, and has been for a long time. We are living under a curse because of it. We need to change it right away, and I am not going to be quiet until we do, even as you threaten to kill me.’ Who can miss the connection to brave Americans of today standing up against prejudice and violence and the false gods of our time?”
Eastman-Rochester Chorus is a 150-voice symphonic chorus comprised of students and members of the Rochester community. It presents choral masterworks in collaboration with Eastman orchestras and Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.
Eastman Chorale is a select ensemble of singers from Eastman that performs various choral repertoire from the past five centuries, ranging from Renaissance masterworks to first performances of compositions from the 21st century. The choir tours annually, and performs at major U.S. conferences.
First and second-year undergraduates comprise Eastman School Symphony Orchestra. It performs a schedule of classic orchestral repertoire. ESSO presents four concerts per semester, and collaborates with Eastman-Rochester Chorus for one concert per year. Most concerts include a concerto performed by an award-winning Eastman student.
Admission to the concert is free.