Sir Andrew Davis conductor
Catherine Wyn-Rogers mezzo-soprano
Stuart Skelton tenor
Nathan Berg bass
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Chorus
The Choir of Trinity College, Melbourne
Elgar The Dream of Gerontius
When he finished the score of The Dream of Gerontius in 1900, Elgar famously inscribed the end with a quote from John Ruskin: ‘This is the best of me; for the rest, I ate, and drank, and slept, loved and hated, like another: my life was as the vapour and is not; but this I saw and knew; this, if anything of mine, is worth your memory.’
A soul’s journey. Angels and demons. Death and eternal peace. This is the story of Gerontius.
To Chief Conductor Sir Andrew Davis, this is one of the greatest pieces ever written.
The concert begins with Gerontius (sung by Stuart Skelton) on his death bed. He journeys into purgatory and is taken under the wing of a guardian angel (sung by Catherine Wyn-Rogers).
Elgar’s masterpiece is a profoundly religious work, but whatever your beliefs, there is a message of ecstatic hope that will move you, leaving you with thoughts of the almighty: Where do we go? What becomes of us? Do we merge into the collective unconscious?
Featuring an all-star cast, this rarely performed production of epic proportions, complete with the extraordinary sounds of the MSO Chorus and conducted by the great master of Elgar, Sir Andrew Davis, is a must see event in 2018.
‘I first heard this work at the age of 14 and it made the deepest impression on me. It’s with great joy that I bring it to the MSO.’ Sir Andrew Davis, Chief Conductor.
‘Angels and demons, purgatory and heaven – Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius has it all, in a stirring oratorio that explores a dying man and his soul’s journey into the afterlife. As a member of the chorus we are in the heart of the musical action. The chorus plays a number of roles, beginning with friends gathered around the dying man with prayers pleading for his soul. The rousing chorus of demons, laughing derisively at the pious, allows us to indulge our theatricality, and as angels praising God, we sing some of the most beautiful choral music ever written.’ Helen MacLean, Alto, MSO Chorus.
Running Time: 1 hour and 45 minutes, including interval
Melbourne Recital Centre presents Stuart Skelton in solo recital as part of their Great Performers 2018 series.