What do Elijah and the FJ Holden have in common? Read on...
The Elijah performance weekend is just 5 weeks away! The Choir has learned every chorus!
Andrew Wailes arrives next week for an intensive rehearsing and polishing weekend!
We’re definitely getting towards the pointy end of things, and the growing intensity is palpable. Ditto the excitement. It’s like a theatre company working towards Opening Night. And really, it’s not that much different. Our set is the risers; our principals are the soloists; our chorus/ensemble cast is the choir; and our Director is the Conductor. We have an Orchestra (and an exceedingly good one at that!), we have lighting and sound people, and we have a stage manager. No costume changes, no movement, no choreography or blocking, but still plenty of scope for acting – we just have to do it through our voices and our faces. We have to know our lines so well that the audience will believe we are the Israelites; and then believe that we are the Baal-ites.
When you think about it, today’s musical theatre productions, and the oratorios of the eighteenth and nineteenth century, are all part of a musical continuum that includes passion play, opera, operetta, and ‘rock’ opera. It may be serious, it may be escapist, it may have a message or simply tell a great yarn. But at its very heart, it’s got to be entertaining, and it has to make the audience feel something.
What’s so special about something like Elijah, is that it has all of these things.
It has a great story – one of the best in the Old Testament. From the point of view of the Israelites, Elijah is the hero – the ‘good guy’, and thus the Baal-ites are the ‘baddies’. The good guys win out over the bad guys, this time around anyway.
The story has a powerful message, if one is a believer; if not, the message is still understood.
The story is very dramatically told, in voice and music.
As a ‘musical’, it has great songs: beautiful solos, great ‘production numbers’, duets and incidental music
It was a ‘hit’ from its first performance, way back in 1846, and, like all great musicals, it is constantly being revived, both amateurs and professionals. It’s a perennial.
So, if you’re inclined to think, “Choir, orchestra, classical music, Bible story? Highbrow? Boring!”, think again.
The FJ Holden was a ‘classic’ Aussie car. Gone With The Wind was a ‘classic’ Hollywood movie. This ‘show’ is a classic, in both the ‘classical’ and modern understandings of that word.
Don’t miss it.
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