The whispering of the breeze and thundering of the tempest impressed Prince Albert in 1846.
Drawn largely from the Books of Kings, Mendelssohn depicts a desert land of famine, idols, angels and the hand of God.
The grim overture, by the Kingfisher Sinfonietta, opening chorus and urgent, insistent tenor Richard Edgar-Wilson, evoked this world.
Mark Saberton was ox-strong as Elijah but with a soaring compassion, felt in his scene with soprano Anna Cavaliero’s serenely grieving woman. He had a grand time taunting the prophets of Baal and could show fierce expressiveness, excitement and times of repose. (The pulpit actually quivered at one point.)
The choir, under Leslie Olive’s skilled direction, rode the mighty exhortations, the fervent thankfulness and praise, with numerous thrilling passages.
Among many other notable items, contralto Thalie Knights’ balm-like aria O Rest in the Lord stood out.
Young singers: Rosalind Aczel, Veryan Dawe, Charlotte Leeder, Alice Wood and Archie Thompson also played a prominent part.
Elijah, 16th March 2019