Susanna Phillips & Isaiah Bell lead Oratorio Society’s ‘Elijah’

By Francisco Salazar

The Oratorio Society of New York is set to present Mendelssohn’s “Elijah.”

Led by Music Director Kent Tritle, the concert will be presented on May 9 at the Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall.

The oratorio will feature such soloists as soprano Susanna Phillips, mezzo-soprano Lucia Bradford, tenor Isaiah Bell, baritone Justin Austin, and treble Zachary Whelan.

“Elijah” is the dramatic biblical tale of the unyielding prophet and his struggle against the wicked king Ahab who, with his duplicitous wife Jezebel, led the ancient Israelites astray from their true God. Mendelssohn’s setting of this righteous man’s defense of the Hebrew God over the Canaanite Baal includes frenzied pagan rituals, ecstatic hymns of praise, stirring choruses, and operatic arias which are masterfully woven into an emotional depiction of this ancient epic.

The Oratorio Society of New York first performed “Elijah” in 1876 and this upcoming performance will mark the Society’s 39th performance of the piece.