THE Huddersfield Choral Society brought their subscriber season to a climactic close with a glorious performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah.
The drama was evident from the outset and was sustained until the final Amen.
The choral’s sound has been described as sonorous, full-bodied, nut-brown.
While they certainly had the qualities of a rich, powerful red wine from the opening pleas in Help, Lord, they also possessed the crispness of a light white through all sections, especially in the sopranos and altos in Lift Thine Eyes.
This tonal quality was appropriately applied and skilfully maintained. Credit for this must go not only to the singers, but also to Chorus Master, Joseph Cullen.
In the substantial title role, British baritone David Wilson-Johnson gave a performance which revealed the opera-like quality of the work.
Initial sharpness warmed into a lush, comforting richness, most notably in For The Mountains Shall Depart. Throughout he conveyed the story and drama of the work with a commanding performance.
He was joined by the beautiful voice of soprano Sarah-Jane Davies and the versatile mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill.
A thoroughly convincing angel in part 1, she metamorphosed into a compelling Jezebel. Tenor. Peter Auty also gave a fine performance, which belied the fact that he was a last- minute replacement.
The flexibility of the Orchestra of Opera North, under the baton of Branwell Tovey, was notable, from the fierce vigour required for some of the full choral sections to the drama of the recitatives or accompanying the pure voice of treble, Benedict Flinn.