Staged performance of 'Elijah' set Nov. 14-15
October 29, 2008

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The Bryan Music Department will present “Elijah,” Felix Mendelssohn’s most famous oratorio, in a fully staged performance Nov. 14 and 15, at 7:30 p.m., in Rudd Auditorium.


Director Dr. Mel Wilhoit said the oratorio generally is presented in concert format, “but we follow a long-standing but rare tradition of staging it with costumes and scenery.”


While the story is based on the biblical account of Elijah, it focuses primarily on the people of Israel and their vacillation between loyalty to Jehovah or Baal. “The chorus plays the role of the people, where some are committed to following Jehovah, some to following Baal, and the great mass is noncommittal,” he said.


“There is a strong spiritual emphasis as well as great choral music,” Dr. Wilhoit said. “This piece is relevant in a trying time as an encouragement to rely on God.”


The role of Elijah will be sung by Dr. David Luther. Mrs. Kim Keck will sing the role of a priestess and alumni Ryan Traub and Kelly Luther Stultz will sing the parts of Obadiah and Jezebel, respectively. Student Micah Pepper will sing the roles of a prophetess and an angel, and the Women’s Chorus will sing the part of angels. A 35-piece professional orchestra will provide the accompaniment.


Admission is free, but Dr. Wilhoit said tickets—providing preferred seating—are recommended. Tickets may be reserved until Nov. 7, by calling the music office at 423-775-7498 or by emailing