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Newcastle Bach Choir and the city's twin town in Germany

Posted on 10 May 2018

Newcastle Bach Choir returns to Sage Gateshead with guest choir Stadtischer Musikverein Gelsenkirchen, from one of the city’s many twin towns in Germany.

In 2016 the German choir invited Newcastle Bach Choir to sing Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius with them, and now Newcastle are returning the compliment with Mendelssohn’s Elijah. The massed choirs will be accompanied by Newcastle University Symphony Orchestra, all conducted by Eric Cross.

Despite sitting firmly in the Victorian choral tradition, Elijah looks back to Handel‘s oratorios and Bach’s Passions in style, with the choir acting the part of the mob, cheering first for Baal and then for Jehovah!

Mendelssohn excels at vividly descriptive passages which are thrilling for the audience and enormous fun for the chorus, with pagan ritual, miraculous weather, and fiery chariots featuring in the action.

The Concert takes place in Sage One, Sage Gateshead, on Sunday 3 June 2018, 3pm. Tickets are £14, £19, £25 (concessions and student discounts available and group offers). Book now.

The Städtischer Musikverein Gelsenkirchen choral society was founded in 1883 with the intention of bringing together lovers of choral music and promoting cultural activity in Gelsenkirchen. In its 135 years of existence, the Musikverein has engaged not only with the major symphonic choral works, but also with a wide variety of smaller, current forms of music.

As a longstanding partner of the regional Neue Philharmonie Westfalen orchestra, Städtischer Musikverein Gelsenkirchen has regularly performed in the annual symphonic choral concerts at the Musiktheater im Revier opera house in Gelsenkirchen. Furthermore, the Musikverein maintains a sophisticated network with other choirs both at regional and international level, including the Newcastle upon Tyne Bach Choir in the UK.

In recent years, Städtischer Musikverein Gelsenkirchen thrived under the leadership of Christian Jeub, director of the renowned Gürzenich Choir in Cologne, which culminated in the outstanding performances of “The Dream of Gerontius” by Edward Elgar (2016) and “The Armed Man” by Karl Jenkins (2017).

In December 2017, Stefan Glaser, Episcopal Commissioner for Church Music in the Diocese of Essen, took over as music director of Städtischer Musikverein Gelsenkirchen.

His first project with the choir takes him to Newcastle upon Tyne, where the Musikverein is joining the Newcastle upon Tyne Bach Choir for a performance of Mendelssohn’s “Elijah”.

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