A special production of Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius will be performed at Birmingham Town Hall on the eve of Cardinal Newman’s beatification. (Saturday 18th September 2010, 5.30pm)
Birmingham Town Hall
Gerontius is an oratorio – a musical composition for solo voices, chorus, orchestra, and organ – and was composed in two parts by Edward Elgar in 1900.
Elgar composed the oratorio using text from the poem by Cardinal Newman. It relates the journey of a pious man’s soul from his deathbed to his judgment before God and settling into Purgatory. It is widely regarded as Elgar’s finest choral work.
It was composed for the Birmingham Music Festival of 1900 and first performed on 3 October in Birmingham Town Hall.
On 18 September, almost a hundred and ten years later, the Ex Cathedra XL Choir and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment will perform The Dream of Gerontius using period instruments in the recently restored venue where it was premiered.
Newman lived and died in Birmingham and founded the UK branch of the Oratory movement in the city.
Ex Cathedra XL Choir
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Jeffrey Skidmore (conductor)
Anna Stephany (mezzo soprano)
Adrian Thompson (tenor)
Roderick Williams (bass)