Okanagan Symphony joins forces with choir

Hayden's The Creation comes to Penticton on April 10.

Violinists rehearse during one of the Okanagan Symphony prior visits to Penticton. The OSO is returning to Penticton on April 10 with a performance of Haydn's The Creation.

Violinists rehearse during one of the Okanagan Symphony prior visits to Penticton. The OSO is returning to Penticton on April 10 with a performance of Haydn's The Creation.

The Okanagan Symphony Orchestra is joining forces with the Okanagan Symphony Chorus to bring a special concert performance to Okanagan stages.

Franz Joseph Haydn’s The Creation is regarded by many as his masterpiece.  Drawing on the book of Genesis and John Milton’s Paradise Lost, the oratorio carries the audience through  the formless void, the starry firmament and the creation of the world.

The Creation has glorious music that alternates between the soloists (representing angels, Adam and Eve), the chorus and always accompanied by the orchestra.  Haydn shows his brilliance with word painting, setting particular texts with music that paints a sound picture of that text,” said Rosemary Thomson, the OSO music director, in a release.

Thomson said a favourite part of the oratorio comes when the baritone soloist sings “and God created whales.”

“At this point, Haydn has all of the low dark instruments, the cellos and basses, the bassoons and the wonderful contrabassoon create the ocean’s depths where you can almost hear the whale song,” said Thomson.

The 60-member Okanagan Symphony Chorus will provide the vocal portion in German with projected English subtitles, with three guest soloists: soprano Siobhan Raupach, bass Randall Jakobsh and tenor Isaiah Bell.

The concert opens in Penticton on April 10 at 7:30 p.m. in Cleland Theatre. Tickets for the Penticton and Kelowna concerts are available by phone at 250-862-2867 or online at okanagansymphony.com.

Bell is a composer who has written four operas – including the music and libretti for two operas for young audiences, commissioned by Opera NUOVA – as well as a number of song cycles and arrangements.

Raupach is a classical singer born and raised in Vernon. She graduated with a Bachelor of Music from McGill University April 2013 and is currently pursuing a Masters degree at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Jakobsh is also from Vernon, though he pursued his vocal studies at the Juilliard School in New York and at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. He has established an international reputation, taking on roles that encompass a broad spectrum, from Fafner Hunding to Don Giovanni and Figaro from the bass-baritone repertoire.

“In addition to our three amazing soloists the chorus has been rehearsing with me throughout the year and we have all completely fallen in love with this incredible music,” said Thomson in the release. “As we leap into spring, The Creation is a great way to celebrate Easter, and Earth Day.”

To learn more about the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra visit their website at okanagansymphony.com or follow on Twitter at OKSymponyOrch or Facebook at OkanaganSymphonyOrchestra.