Report on ELIJAH (4 March 2007) by Malcolm Ollis

13 Mar 2007

Sussex Chorus, representing both the Prophets of Baal and the Hebrew people proved itself to be well up to the task. Sussex Chorus sang with good intonation throughout and there were periods of sublime singing in the quieter passages.

Sussex Chorus, representing both the Prophets of Baal and the Hebrew people proved itself to be well up to the task. Sussex Chorus sang with good intonation throughout and there were periods of sublime singing in the quieter passages.

The main chorus was well supported by the Ardingly Choral Society (Chorus of Believers) and the Ardingly College Chamber Choir ( the Chorus of Angels, singing from the gallery) who sang with great purity of tone, assurance and accuracy. The soloists were a pleasure to listen to. Bass-baritone Michael George (Elijah) offered both the vocal domination and the gravitas that the role demands and he gave us a wonderful portrayal of Elijah.

Tenor Justin Lavender (Obadiah and Ahab) has splendid roles in this work. Every tenor must long to perform his opening recitative and aria, and Justin did not disappoint. He sang clearly throughout and with the necessary sentiment.

Mezzo Soprano Susan Legg brought out the intricacies in the text and used different colours when portraying the different characters. She sang with great clarity. Soprano Lorna Anderson gave a powerful performance and was thoroughly infused with the drama of the work.

Nine year old treble Daniel Filmer played his part splendidly, singing in a most assured manner. His notes were very clear and well projected.

The London Gala Orchestra gave a very safe foundation for all the singing. Mention must be made of the cello obligato (played by Claire Martin) which occurs during Elijahís aria whilst in the wilderness. Her playing was superb, the mellifluous nature of the instrument bringing out the pathos of Elijahís situation. Conductor Neil Jenkins maintained control throughout the performance with a very clear beat. He gave a good lead to the dynamic changes for the choir and paid attention to the needs of the Chorus of Angels who were somewhat isolated from him high up in the balcony so that these angels were well integrated into the whole work.

Overall this was a splendid performance and the members of the audience were able to make their ways homeward suitably uplifted.

Malcolm Ollis


Please see press/ElijahMar2007-Ollis.pdf ( 0 kB PDF file)