Bass-baritone David Pittsinger will perform the role of Elijah with the TMC on November 5th. He writes on this opportunity to take on the role of Elijah for the first time.
“For my High School graduation my choir director gave me three personalized bound editions of: Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Creation and Mendelssohn’s Elijah. He believed, at that time, that these would be my major concert pieces as a soloist should I pursue a concert and operatic career. I have sung two of the three of these oratorio’s many times throughout the world but never Elijah. Frankly, it had never been offered, so when the inquiry arose I jumped at the opportunity. I am a big fan of ecclesiastical music, and have recently rediscovered this genre working and performing with my son Richard while the Principal Boy Soprano (Soloist) at St. Thomas Church NYC under the direction of Dr. John Scott. John mentored Richard as he did me, inviting me to sing Faure’s Requiem opposite my son as the Soprano soloist. My son’s voice has since changed, he’s now a tenor studying at Julliard Pre-College, and hopes to attend a conservatory after graduating high school this year. With the recent passing of John Scott, I feel the need to reconnect with my ecclesiastical roots as he so encouraged me to do.
What excited me about this role is that I feel I have more to offer this piece than I would have as a less seasoned artist. The excitement of adding a new role to one’s repertoire with such an accomplished conductor and choir makes it even more the perfect time to take on this historical biblical prophet. Any music that serves art is relevant in today’s culture. To be a vulnerable and honest storyteller is what every artist ultimately strives for and this piece abounds with opportunities for just that. It resides in an ecclesiastical lexicon with Bach’s Matthew Passion, and Handel’s Messiah, but uses Mendelssohn’s own Romantic style to great emotional effect.
It is with great respect and love that I approach this material and my part in telling the story the composer intended. And now I have the opportunity to make this a part of my own musical legacy in hopes that I will sing it again and again for the years to come.”
Read the Program notes for this concert.