April 11, 2008
I've been absent from my blog for a bit. My apologies to all who have been faithfully checking back! This month finds me preparing for a major event in my life which will take place in May. I will be performing on tour in Spain. I and several others from Lancaster Bible College will be performing Mendelssohn's ELIJAH. It is an oratorio over two hours long.
Why are we doing this? Back in the reign of the Nazis Hitler discovered that Mendelssohn had been a Jew. So he had all his compositions in Germany destroyed and bought as many from all over the world that he could find and burned them. Spain had sided with Germany and followed their example. So now there are several generations of Spaniards who have never even heard of Mendelssohn. This will be a new experience for hundreds. Our performances are so anticipated that we have been invited to be recorded live so that our presentation is broadcast all over the nation.
We will be leaving May 11th and returning on May 21st. It will be a whirl-wind ten days. During that time we will be performing in the cities of Salamanca, Galicia, Ponferrada, and Leon. We will have to endure 6-hour rehearsals and four 2 1/2-hour performances in the same week! It will be extremely demanding of all musicians not only physically but emotionally. As a music professor I can honestly say that this oratorio is very difficult.
The second reason we are doing this is to expose Spaniards to the story of Elijah. It is a powerful story in the Bible from the Old Testament but most people in Spain don't know it. The reason for this is that in their Catholic churches ( Spain is predominantly Catholic) the Bible is read by the priest alone and only in Latin. Most Spaniards don't even know what's in the Bible because they don't understand what's being read to them!
Mendelssohn's oratorio was originally written in German but for the first time we will be presenting it to the Spaniards in their own language. It has brought much excitement to the waiting audiences. And since the government funds the arts in Spain we are able to give every person who attends their own full copy of Mendelssohn's Oratorio to take home with them.
Of course I will bring my camera along and will update more on this when I return, Lord willing. Words cannot express how much joy I feel in knowing that God has been so faithful in continuing to heal my body from the injuries I suffered in the car accident back in September. This trip will be difficult for me, physically, but I am certain God is going to do something incredible through all this suffering and preparation. If only one person finds Him... then it is worth it.
Amazon has some sound clips you can listen to should you be curious to hear a few selections. As always, Amazon seems to find the most unimpressive moments in any musical album to display. So if possible buy yourself a copy and listen to the whole thing. :) After clicking on the link below scroll down the page to find Disk 1 and Disk 2.
For those of you who feel so inclined please pray for this tour. Pray for safety, health, a positive attitude, and stamina. The time difference is six hours. If its 2pm here its 8pm in Spain. Also, finding sufficient funds has been a strain for everyone. There will be 62 of us in all ( choir and orchestra). Please pray that our finances would work out. Thanks! :}