An open invitation:

Please join Deacon Anthony Brown for three (3) consecutive Sundays beginning September 30th to learn more about the life and times of the prophet Elijah.

These uplifting and edifying sessions will lead up to the LMC concert on Sunday, October 14th, at 3:00pm at Holy Spirit.

All sessions will begin at 11:15am following the 10am Mass on Sunday in the Dining Commons and will last about an hour.
Please consider joining Deacon Anthony Brown on this enjoyable study of the life and times of Elijah.

Mark Walker, Conductor & Artistic Director
Rick Moon, Assistant Conductor
Jack Griffin, Concertmaster
Jessica Mills, soprano
Mary Wilson Redden, soprano
Julianne Horton, alto
Bill Coleman, tenor
Alexander Redden, bass


About the composer

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809-1847) from his first visit to England in 1829, fascinated the English, who soon came to love him and his work.  This included the King and Queen.  In 1836, his oratorio St. Paul (Op. 36) was a great success at the triennial music festival in Birmingham, England.  A decade later he was asked to direct the festival and to provide an oratorio for the occasion.  The result was Elijah (Op. 70), with a German libretto by his old friend Julius Schubring (1806-1899) and, since it was to be premiered in Birmingham, a brilliant English paraphrase of the libretto by William Bartholomew (1793-1867).  Our text will be Bartholomew’s English.

With the exception of a period at the end of the 19th century, influenced to a large degree by Richard Wagner’s virulent antisemitism, Mendelssohn’s oratorio Elijah has been, in the minds and hearts of the musical world, second only to Handel’s Messiah.  Mendelssohn combines in his compelling drama the best of the classical and the early romantic musical ideals.  Like Handel and Haydn before him, Mendelssohn understood the power of the oratorio.

Elijah background

The story of Elijah comes primarily from 1st and 2nd Kings, but Mendelssohn’s librettist also drew from other books of the Old Testament, among them Jeremiah, the Psalms, and Isaiah, as well as—late in the work—a verse from the Gospel of Matthew.  The oratorio takes place during the time of Ahab, King of Israel, who has married Jezebel, a devout worshiper of the pagan fertility god Baal.  The prophet Elijah speaks for the Lord God of Israel.  The conflicts between Elijah and the worshipers of Baal come powerfully alive in Mendelssohn’s music.