Lagos City Chorale in exquisite performance of Haydn’s creation
The Lagos City Chorale once again proved its mettle as a choir of high international standard with the exquisite presentation of the world’s favourite Oratorios, The Creation by an Austrian classical composer, Joseph Haydn. The performance, which was recently held twice at different locations in Lagos – All Saints Church, Yaba, and Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church (OLPH), Victoria Island, Lagos, drew a large audience of classical music enthusiasts.
At the first presentation at All saints Church, Yaba, the main auditorium and the gallery were filled to capacity with enthusiastic and appreciative audience. In attendance were dignitaries such as Dr. Christopher Kolade, Chief Olu Okeowo, Chief Sony Kuku, Sir Demola Aladekomo, Rt. Rev. Pelu Johnson, Chief Akin George and a host of others. While at OLPH, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, Chief Philip Asiodu, Mrs. Francesca Emanuel, Dr. & Dr. Mrs. Akinluyi, Mrs. Maiden Ibru, Dr. (Mrs.) Femi Akinkugbe were among the dignitaries that graced the occasion.
The choir, accompanied by a chamber orchestra with well-seasoned soloists, re-enacted in a musical setting the story of God’s creation of the world as recorded first in the book of the Holy Bible, called Genesis.
The performance began with an overture performance by the Orchestra, lead by Kehinde Davies. Then emerged Angel Raphael (ably enacted by Dennis Adeoti), with the recitative: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, and the earth was without form and void.” After this first recitative, the chorus entered sotto-voce with the lyrics, “And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters; and God said, ‘Let there light,’ and there was light.” The chorus and the instruments reached a climactic fortissimo with a bang on the word ‘Light.”
Various recitatives, arias and choruses followed in a series narrating various scenes in God’s creation of the world. The first part ended with a popular chorus; “The heavens are telling the glory of God,” which was thunderously rendered by an enlarged choir, co-opted from the audience.
In part 2, the three angels, Gabriel, Uriel, and Raphael were joined in beautiful rendition of trios, alternating with choruses in some sections. This part rounded off with a rousing chorus “Achieved is the glorious work!”
The creation of man in part three was most interesting as Adam and Eve were seen expressing deep love and admiring each other, as they sang the duet: “By Thee with Bliss and Graceful Consort.” The Last Chorus, “Sing the Lord, ye voices all” was equally thunderous with a rousing climax that prompted a thunderous standing ovation from the appreciative audience.
The soloists in the performance were spectacular – Nonso Njoku (Soprano), who played the role of Angel Gabriel, Ifunanya Anekwe (Soprano), doubled as Angel Gabriel in the second performance. Others included Deborah Awunor (Soprano), who played the role of Eve, Angela Izegbu (soprano) played the role of Eve in the second performance, Duke Asuquo (a gifted tenor) played the role of Uriel, Guchi Egbunine, aka Chief Tenor, enacted Uriel in the second performance while Dennis Adeoti, who played the role of Angel Raphael, with a resonating bass voice, was a pleasant surprise to the audience. Diominic Etim, who played Adam, gave a good account of his baritone voice. At the organ was Tobi Balogun while Alaba Akinselure manned the keyboard.
Some of the guests, including the special guests, said the Conductor, also a maestro in the job, Sir Emeka Nwokedi, was a beauty to behold, as he perfectly controlled the large choir and orchestra ensemble, craftily molding each segment of the performance to fit the whole to bring out the best interpretation.
Lagos City Chorale has travelled to many parts of the world to participate in various global cultural festivals and music competitions and has won several laurels for Nigeria. Her participation has sufficiently rebranded Nigeria globally and showcased her positive virtues. Its performances also represent Nigeria’s contribution to fostering peace and harmony in the world through choral music, as it sings in unison and harmony with choirs from other nations of the world.
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