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Loyola's School of Music and Temple Sinai to present Mendelssohnís 'Elijah' with all-star cast and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra

Loyola press release - March 4, 2015

International opera stars Alfred Walker ‘96 and Luretta Bybee, who is also associate professor of voice at Loyola, will headline a performance of Mendelssohn’s “Elijah” on Saturday, March 14, at 7:30 p.m. The performance, part of Loyola’s College of Music and Fine Arts Montage Performing Arts Series, takes place at Temple Sinai, 6227 Saint Charles Ave. Individual tickets begin at $20. Patron level seats begin at $125 and include priority seating as well as admission to a cocktail reception with the artists to be held on Thursday, March 12. Tickets will be available in advance and at the door; patron level ticket holders who wish to attend the reception should purchase their tickets by Monday, March 9.

The performance will feature cantor Joel Colman of Temple Sinai; Tyler Smith, D.M.A., Marcus St. Julien, D.M.A., and professor Betsy Uschkrat of Loyola’s School of Music; the voices of Loyola’s University Chorus and Chamber Singers; and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in this masterwork of choral-orchestral literature. Meg Frazier, D.M.A., Rita O. Huntsinger Distinguished Professor of Music, will conduct.

“Elijah” is a dramatic oratorio that tells the biblical story of Elijah in the same format as an opera but in a concert setting instead of a staged production. Walker sings the role of Elijah, featuring such well-known solos as “It is enough” and “Lord God of Abraham.” Bybee sings the role of Queen Jezebel and portrays one of the angels who encourages Elijah through his doubt. The chorus depicts the Israelite people and also serves a narrative role, telling the story of a people moving through sin and doubt to salvation and strength.

Bass-baritone Walker returns to his hometown for this performance. This season, he is singing in “Les contes d’Hoffmann” with Den Noske Opera, the Verdi “Requiem” with the Louisiana Philharmonic, and “Bluebeard’s Castle” with the Metropolitan Opera, among other important roles.

Mezzo-soprano Bybee is best known for her title role in the world tour of Peter Brook’s “La Tragedie de Carmen” in her early career. She is currently an associate professor of music in Loyola’s prestigious School of Music, where she teaches studio voice. She also remains involved in and serves as part of the leadership team for the New England Conservatory's Opera Studies program.