Elijah – 2023

Elijah and the Widow
Sunday April 30th, 2022 at 7:00 pm Mendelssohn
Stoller Hall, Hunts Bank, Manchester. M3 1DA
The Stoller Hall is directly opposite Manchester Victoria Station, convenient for trains and trams from Oldham and within easy reach of all main train, bus, tram and road links.

Visitor access is via Hunt’s Bank, with the main entrance directly facing Manchester Arena.

The nearest car park is Q-Park Deansgate North, M3 7WJ, which is a three minute walk from The Stoller Hall. The Stoller Hall is pleased to partner with Q-Park Deansgate North to offer discounted parking for all our visitors. With a discount voucher you can park for up to 8 hours in the indoor, multi-storey Q-Park for just £5. Click here for details on directions to the parking facility, which is open 24/7. To claim the discounted price, just collect a voucher from the Box Office during your visit and scan it when returning to the car park to pay. Card payments only are accepted.

Elijah – Mendelssohn
The first performance, conducted by Mendelssohn himself, took place on the 26th August 1846 before an audience of two thousand who had packed into Birmingham Town Hall for the eagerly-awaited event. It was an unprecedented success.

Mendelssohn’s oratorio Elijah depicts events in the life of this Biblical prophet. The composer crafted his text directly from the Old Testament, including selections from: I Kings, II Kings, Isaiah, Psalms, Lamentations, Jeremiah, Job, Malachi, Exodus, and Deuteronomy; as well as Matthew from the New Testament. Faith is the essential subject of the Elijah story. Specifically, he boldly defends belief in Jehovah as the “true” God of Israel and opposes the “false” god, Baal, worshipped by King Ahab and Queen Jezebel. Elijah’s prophecy that God would punish Israel for breaking his covenant comes to pass in the form of a terrible draught and famine. To end the suffering, he proposes a test between the two gods to see which is more powerful. When Jehovah triumphs, Elijah is vindicated, the draught ends, and the covenant is restored. Faced with persecution by the angry Queen Jezebel, Elijah descends into despair; but angels offer comfort, and the divine presence is revealed to him. At the end of his life, a flaming chariot carries the prophet away to heaven in a whirlwind. The text provides many wonderful effects that invite colourful musical treatment, including the reviving of the dead son of a widow, an eruption of flames upon an altar, a terrific storm that arrives to end a devastating drought, and the prophet’s fiery ascent into heaven.

Concert Report
This concert was a great success. Click here to view the concert programme which contains lots of information about the choir, the composer, the work, the soloists and the new Musical Director.

The following review appeared in the Oldham Chronicle on the 24th May 2023.

Oldham Choral Society is going from strength to strength.

If you love choral singing, whether as a singer or audience member, have a look at what Oldham Choral Society has to offer.

OCS is one of the leading amateur choirs in North West England, with over 80 members.

The repertoire includes most of the major choral works, including Vivaldi, Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Verdi and Elgar.

Most concerts are performed with an orchestra or brass band.

In January this year the choir welcomed its new Musical Director, Dr David Cane.

David has a Ph.D. in Musicology from the Royal Northern College of Music, and previously was a boy chorister at Leicester Cathedral and a choral scholar at King’s College Cambridge.

After achieving a Cambridge degree in Theology and Religious Studies, he undertook three years of postgraduate vocal studies at the RNCM.

He has experience as a solo performer (he has a fine baritone voice), teacher of singing, piano and music theory and as a choral director.

David’s first concert with the choir was at the end of April, in the Stoller Hall in Manchester.

It was an electrifying performance of Mendelssohn’s oratorio Elijah, with a great line-up of professional soloists Terence Ayebare, Rita Wood, Emma Stannard and Brian McNamee and the National Festival Orchestra.

Particularly notable was the contribution of treble Liam Brophy (above), who sang the part of the youth who spots the approaching storm clouds.

Liam is a pupil at Hulme Grammar School, where he is taught by Head of Music and OCS accompanist Duncan Robertson.

Liam is also a pupil of Brian McNamee, the tenor soloist in Elijah.

The choir will be joined by a first-class team of professional soloists.
Soprano – Rita Wood
Mezzo – Emma Stannard
Tenor – Brian McNamee
Baritone – Terence Ayebare (Elijah)
Musical Director – Dr David Cane

Tickets: £16 available from the either the Ticket Secretary Tel No: 0161 797 3585 or from the Stoller Hall Box Office (plus £1 booking fee) Tel No: 03333 130 0967 (2-4pm Monday to Friday). Email: boxoffice@stollerhall.com. Students (in full time education) £10.