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Willard White for National Chorale's Elijah

Published:Tuesday | July 14, 2015 | 12:00 AM
The National Chorale of Jamaica.
Sir Willard White

In August, The National Chorale of Jamaica will present its summer series, appropriately scheduled to be in alignment with the island's Independence celebrations. The chorale will present Felix Mendelssohn's Elijah, featuring world-renowned bass-baritone Sir Willard White in the title role.

Sir Willard White is one of the best-loved and most versatile opera stars of the last 40 years. As a proud Jamaican, he treasures opportunities to return to Jamaica. White was born in Jamaica, where he commenced his musical training at the Jamaica School of Music and then went on to the Julliard School in New York.

His illustrious career has seen him performing in the most prestigious opera houses and concert halls throughout the world, collaborating with conductors, directors and orchestras of the highest calibre.

Mendelssohn's Elijah is being staged as part of The National Chorale of Jamaica's 43rd anniversary, as the group continues to promote, maintain and conduct a group to portray choral music at the highest level of excellence. For this special concert series, the chorale will feature an augmented choir of approximately 45 voices, as well as an 18-piece orchestra.

Elijah was composed in 1846 and, from its inception, has been a musical triumph. The work is dominated by Elijah, the very strict, stern and unyielding prophet of God on one hand, and on the other by the chorus of Israelite people, whose role is conveyed in a series of powerfully dramatic choruses.

In addition to White, featured soloists are Sylvia Kevorkian (soprano), Leah Brown (contralto) and Byron Johnson (tenor).

Sponsors for the series are the CHASE Fund, The Gleaner and J. Wray & Nephew Limited. Part proceeds from the concert series will go towards the St Andrew Settlement. Tickets cost $4,000 each and are available in Kingston at Music Mart, South Avenue; Kingston Book Shop, Springs Plaza and Liguanea Post Mall; and Fontana Pharmacy, East Kings House Road. In Mandeville, they are available at Fontana Pharmacy, Manchester Shopping Centre; and in Montego Bay at Fontana Pharmacy, Fairview Town Centre.