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Saturday 5 April 2014 7.30pm
Victoria Hall, Bolton, BL1 2AS


Mendelssohn's Elijah

with Northern Chamber Orchestra
Soprano: Eleanor Garside
Alto: Antonia Sotgiu
Tenor: Richard Pollock
Bass: Craig Smith

Eleanor Garside

Antonia Sotgiu
Richard Pollock
Richard Pollock
Craig Smith
Craig Smith


The Old Testament prophet, Elijah, intrigued the young Mendelssohn and he felt he would be a perfect musical subject. Frustratingly though, no librettist could be convinced of this. In the end, the composer wrote most of the libretto himself, spurred on by a commission from the Birmingham Festival to write an oratorio for performance in the city in 1846.

It was very much the Messiah of its day: a hugely popular work that absolutely cemented Mendelssohn's position as one of the greatest composers of sacred music. The premiere performance of Elijah was attended by 2000 people and conducted by Mendelssohn himself. To quote a review published in 'The Times' shortly afterwards, 'The last note of Elijah was drowned in a long-continued unanimous volley of plaudits, vociferous and deafening ... never was there a more complete triumph; never a more thorough and speedy recognition of a great work of art.'

For our performance of one of the society's favourite works we are proud to welcome back Eleanor and Richard who have both sung with us on several occasions now. Our other two soloists Antonia and Craig are both from Bolton and it will be a pleasure to work with them for the first time. The part of the Youth will be sung by Bolton girl Elizabeth Hardman.

Both choir members and our conductor cannot wait to start rehearsing this great choral work once again – the strains of 'Baal We Cry to Thee', 'Help Lord!' and 'Thanks be to God' will soon be filling our rehearsal room as the full drama of this great work is revealed.

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