180-voiced choir led by Robert Lamb
By Chris Fish
MELBOURNE -- An Old Testament prophet will come to life in the performance of "Elijah," an oratorio by Mendelssohn, on Saturday, May 11.
Robert Lamb, professor of music, director of choral activities and chairman of the department of performing and visual arts for Brevard Community College, will conduct members of the Brevard Community Chorus, Brevard Chorale and BCC Concert Choir.
The 180-voice chorus, which will be accompanied by select players from the Brevard Symphony Orchestra, will feature Kyle Knappenberger of Rockledge in the starring role.
"This piece is a big milestone in my life," he said in an email. "I have wanted to sing this role for years, and, now that I have the opportunity, I am thrilled beyond belief. It is a huge honor to perform this piece with Dr. Lamb, as he is an extraordinary musician and dear friend."
Mr. Knappenberger said the role of Elijah is a particularly difficult one.
"The role calls for a baritone to sing in his upper register for large portions of the piece, often competing with a large orchestra and choir," he said. "Dramatically, Elijah is complex because he was more filled with the Holy Spirit than any man prior to Jesus and John the Baptist, and spirituality of that depth is a challenge to emulate. However, the role has it all: lots of big, masculine singing, poignancy and fantastic orchestration."
Mr. Lamb, who first conducted the performance as a graduate student in Cincinnati and then with the Brevard Community Chorus and Chorale in 2003, said he is looking forward to the opportunity of bring "Elijah" to the stage.
"I love the drama of this music," he said. "I also was privileged to hear the piece performed by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by Robert Shaw. I sat on the very first row, so I could watch every move Mr. Shaw made. It was a stellar evening, and I'm looking forward to presenting Brevard with our rendition of this incredible music and leaving audience members with their own wonderful memories of the performance."
The performance will last approximately two hours.
"I can't imagine a better singer in the title role of Elijah than the extremely talented Kyle Knappenberger," Mr. Lamb said in a press release. "We are lucky to have him right here in Brevard."
"Elijah" will be performed on May 11 at 7:30 p.m. at the King's Center for the Performing Arts, 3865 N. Wickham Road in Melbourne.
General admission tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and active military and $5 for children and college students with valid student identification.
For more information, visit the King Center box office or call (321) 242-2219.