What's so great about Mendelssohn's Elijah?

© ANDREW SPINA 2019

© ANDREW SPINA 2019

On November 20 at 7 PM, we will perform Mendelssohn’s Elijah at St. George’s Church in Stuyvesant Square. Ahead of this performance, we checked in with Artistic Director Matthew Lewis to see what he likes best about the piece. Here are his favorite moments:

- The beginning of the piece is unusual. It begins with a recitative, followed by an orchestral overture. The chorus makes a stunning and dramatic entrance, crying "Help, Lord!" It's a powerful start to the piece.

- The Angels octet is stunning, and that happens early in the oratorio. Mendelssohn had written this "motet" previously, and incorporated it into Elijah. It's one of the most beautiful movements.

- I think a memorable highlight of the piece is the standoff between Elijah and the prophets of Ba'al. The Ba'al choruses are so exciting! And, Mendelssohn has a great sense of humor in setting Elijah's mocking response to their "no show" god.

- I have to admit, my favorite parts are the big choruses. "Thanks be to God," at the conclusion of Part 1, and "Be not afraid," at the beginning of Part 2—amazing! And, so fun to sing and to hear.

Come hear these highlights, and decide your favorite parts of this grand work. Tickets are on sale now.

Meet the Soloists for Mendelssohn's Elijah

On November 20, St. George’s Choral Society will perform Mendelssohn’s Elijah in English in its entirety. Tickets are now available.

This choral masterpiece for choir, orchestra, and soloists tells the biblical story of the prophet Elijah in dramatic form. It combines some of Mendelssohn's best choral music and brilliant orchestrations with beautiful and exciting solos.

We have four fantastic soloists joining the choir and orchestra for this performance. Be sure to click the links to visit their websites and listen to their voices:

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Baritone Steven LaBrie, a native of Dallas, Texas, is beginning to attract attention for his beautiful timbre, expressive singing and dramatic presence. Mr. LaBrie was named among the five leading lyric baritones to watch by Opera News.

During the upcoming season, 2019-2020, Mr. LaBrie will make his role debut as Mr. Maguire in Tobias Picker's Emmeline with Tulsa Opera and role/company debuts as Heger/Jäger in Dvořák's Rusalka at the Tiroler Festspiele Earl. Additionally, he will make his debut at the Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage of Carnegie Hall with The Cecilia Chorus of N.Y. singing the baritone solos in Orff's Carmina Burana and Walton's Belshazzar's Feast. Mr. LaBrie will also return to Jazz at Lincoln Center to sing Escamillo in Bizet's Carmen with MasterVoices.

Engagements for the 2018-2019 season included his return to Opera Omaha in his role debut as Belcore in Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore; his company debut with Tulsa Opera in the title role of Rossini's Il barbiere di siviglia; and his company and role debuts with San Diego Opera in Heggie's Three Decembers and Teatro Nuovo as Valdeburgo in Bellini's La Straniera. Additionally, Mr. LaBrie made his debut in concert with the St. Hugh-Steinway Concert Series in Miami, Florida and in Mexico with the Orquesta Filarmónica del Estado de Chihuahua.

Mr. LaBrie has received numerous awards and honors, including a 2016 top prize award and a 2013 encouragement grant from the George London Music Foundation, second place from the Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition, as well as the Judges Award with the Opera Index Competition.


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Praised by The Washington Post for her “clarion” voice with “a wealth of shades,” French and Canadian soprano Chloé Olivia Moore recently made her role debut as as Liù in Turandot with both Dayton Opera and Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre. Other recent performances include Nedda in I pagliacci with Dayton Opera, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Bar Harbor Music Festival, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with both The Orchestra Now and the Rogue Valley Symphony, Dvorak’s Requiem with the St. George’s Choral Society, a concert of Viennese favorites with the Ocean City Pops, a recital with pianist Hector Acosta in the Festival del Pitic in Hermosillo, Mexico, a concert with Annapolis Opera, and her Kennedy Center debut in the "Art Song Discovery Series" with Vocal Arts DC.

Other recent performances include her company and role debut with Dayton Opera as Leïla in Les pêcheurs de perles, and Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with the Castleton Festival. As a resident artist at the prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, Chloé performed numerous roles, including Violetta in La Traviata, Manon Massenet’s Manon, Tatyana in Eugene Onegin, Adina in L'elisir d’amore, Mélisande in Pelléas et Mélisande, Antonia in Les contes d’Hoffman, Garcias in Don Quichotte, Zdenka in Arabella, Sorella Infermiera in Suor Angelica, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni and Ms. Brown in the world premiere of The Scarlet Letter.

Chloé has won top prizes with the George London Foundation (George London Award), Gerda Lissner Foundation (1st Prize), Giulio Gari Foundation (2nd Prize), Czech & Slovak International Voice Competition (2nd Prize), Liederkranz Foundation (3rd Prize, Opera Division), Loren Zachary Vocal Competition (3rd Prize), was recognized by the Crested Butte Music Festival with the Rosalind Jackson Memorial Award and in her native Canada with the Prix Jeune Espoir Lyrique Canadien with Les Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques.


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Hailed by The New York Times as a "striking mezzo soprano" and by The San Francisco Chronicle for her "electrifying sense of fearlessness," in the 2019-2020 season Raehann Bryce-Davis returns to Opera Vlaanderen for her role debut as Eboli in Don Carlos. She also makes her LA Opera debut in the world premiere of Aucoin and Ruhl’s Eurydice, a co-production with The Metropolitan Opera, and continues in further performances of Unknown, I Live With You with the Kurt Weill Festival Dessau. Ms. Bryce-Davis also joins conductor Kent Nagano and the Montreal Symphony for Verdi’s Requiem, and sings Nathaniel Dett’s The Ordering of Moses for the centennial of the Harlem Renaissance at Carnegie Hall, Mendelssohn's Elijah with St. George’s Choral Society, and a recital series for the Art Song Preservation Society in New York with pianist Mark Markham. Last season she made her role debut as Leonor in La Favorite at the Teatro Massimo di Palermo, Marguerite in La Damnation de Faust with Maestro John Nelson and the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Costa Rica, Ms. Alexander in Satyagraha at Opera Vlaanderen, the World Premiere and tour of Unknown, I Live With You with The Airport Society, Kristina in The Makropulos Affair at the Janáček Brno Festival, Verdi's Requiem with the Oratorio Society of New York at Carnegie Hall, Martinů’s Julietta with the American Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra.

On the concert stage, Ms. Bryce-Davis recently sang Elgar’s Sea Pictures at the Musikverein in Vienna, the world premiere of Paul Moravec’s Sanctuary Road in her Carnegie Hall debut with Oratorio Society of New York, and Verdi’s Requiem with both the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Costa Rica and the Greenwich Village Orchestra. She also joined the Aspen Music Festival for John Corigliano’s Of Rage and Remembrance, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with Maestro Kent Tritle in a world premiere organ transcription at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, Verdi’s Requiem with Marywood University, Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky with Maestro Philippe Entremont and the Manhattan School of Music Symphony, Durufle’s Requiem with Maestro David Thye, and Handel’s Messiah with Maestro Phillip Nuzzo and the Metro Chamber Orchestra. Also an ardent proponent of contemporary music, she premiered composer Kyle Werner's Psalm 42, and sang the world premiere of Four Songs for Mezzo Soprano and Orchestra by Jacob A. Greenberg.

Ms. Bryce-Davis is a 2018 recipient of the prestigious George London Award, the 2017 first place and audience prize-winner of the Concorso Lirico Internazionale di Portofino competition, a prize winner of the 2016 International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition, and winner of the 2016 Richard F. Gold Career Grant, the 2015 9th International Hilde Zadek Competition at the Musikverein in Vienna, the 2015 Metropolitan Opera National Council Pittsburgh District, and the 2015 Sedat Gürel - Güzin Gürel International Voice Competition in Istanbul. In addition to winning the Zadek competition in Vienna, she also walked away with the supporters and sponsors prize, the media jury prize, a masterclass with Christa Ludwig, and a gala concert at Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe in Germany. She holds a Master of Music and Professional Studies certificate from the Manhattan School of Music and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Texas at Arlington.


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Praised by Opera Today for his “sizable lyric instrument” and “honeyed tone on all registers,” Arnold Livingston Geis is a recent graduate of Washington National Opera’s prestigious Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program. In the 2019-2020 season he makes his Lincoln Center debut creating the role of Mr. Marks in Ricky Ian Gordon’s Intimate Apparel. He also sings Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore with Illinois Symphony, and Agamemnon in a workshop of Wayne Shorter & Esperanza Spalding’s Iphigenia at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D. C. Last season, Mr. Geis joined Washington National Opera for Jonathan Dale in Silent Night, Gastone in La Traviata, and Busdriver/New Preacher in Kamala Sankaram and Jerry Dy’s world premiere of Taking Up Serpents. He also sang Nikolaus Sprink in Silent Night with Glimmerglass Opera, Arnold Murray in The Life and Death(s) of Alan Turing with Chicago Opera Theater, and Tamino in The Magic Flute with Pacific Opera Project.

On the concert stage, Mr. Geis has performed Gitzy Razaz in the world premiere of Flight of Faith with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Pasadena Symphony, Handel’s Messiah with Salastina Music Society, and Britten’s Canticle III with Pacific Palisades Chamber Ensemble. He has also sung Handel’s Alexander’s Feast, Messiah, and Beethoven’s Missa solemnis with the L.A. Master Chorale. In addition to his work in the classical sphere, Mr. Geis is a member of both SAG-AFTRA and Actors' Equity unions, and has recorded solo vocals for many television projects, including popular shows like Tom and Jerry and Family Guy, and has also sung for such blockbuster film soundtracks as The Jungle Book, Sing, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Star Wars: Rogue, Fifty Shades of Grey, Minions, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and Disney’s new live-action film of The Lion King.

Mr. Geis is a graduate of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, has been an Apprentice Artist with Chautauqua Opera, a Young Artists with Opera on the Avalon, and an Apprentice Artist with Bel Canto at Caramoor. He received his Master of Music from the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California and his Bachelor of Music from Biola University.