The Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh (MCP) blew the roof off the Roxian Theatre on Friday and Saturday with the premiere of Stewart Copeland‘s Satan’s Fall! MCP, already well-renowned for their exceptional performances of traditional classical choral works, unleashed their inner angels and demons to do justice to Copeland’s self-described “metal opera.” The event opened with MCP Robert Page Music Director Matthew Mehaffey leading the choir in more traditional a cappella choral works, a first for the recently renovated Roxian stage. After Stewart Copeland conducted a rock and roll interpretation of “O Fortuna,” complete with flying music and music stands, the MCP, orchestra, and soloists returned to the stage and immersed themselves in the epic battle for heaven, as imagined by poet John Milton in Paradise Lost.
With the first crash of chords, audiences were drawn into the whirling music and fierce beats of Copeland’s imaginative score. Soloists Nathan Granner and Jamie Chamberlin, Raphael and Raphaella respectively, provided narration to move the story along, while existing high in the musical stratosphere of their lines. MCP’s Scott O’Neal was a menacing and, at times, charming Satan, bringing the title character to life with his snarled, deep bass lines. Hayden Keefer (God) and Stephanie Sue Curtice (Messiah) brought light and hope to the score as good triumphed over evil, while Colin Farley, Timothy Marquette, and Anastasia Robinson rounded out the story with their portrayal of light and dark angels.
After this weekend, the MCP has once again proved that they’re equally as comfortable singing Beethoven in a concert hall as they are singing a metal opera by Stewart Copeland in a rock venue!
Click here for photos of the performance. All photos courtesy of Alisa Garin Photography.
In the Press:
- Choir rocked the Rox – The Beaver County Times, 17 February 2020
- Staffer Summons Satan for Starring Role – PittWire, 14 February 2020
- The Devil’s Music: Former Police Drummer Premieres “Satan’s Fall” with the Mendelssohn Choir – 90.5 WESA, 7 February 2020
- Whip talks to Stewart Copeland – iHeartRadio Podcast, 6 February 2020
- Rising up to ‘Satan’s Fall’: Famed rock drummer Stewart Copeland offers poignant insight on his ‘metal opera,’ composing and Milton’s epic ‘Paradise Lost’ – The Beaver County Times, 6 February 2020
- Stewart Copeland’s ‘Satan’s Fall’ to premiere at Roxian Theatre – PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 6 February 2020
- How Police drummer Stewart Copeland picked Pittsburgh for world premiere of ‘Satan’s Fall’ – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 4 February 2020
- Best Pittsburgh concerts this week: – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 4 February 2020
- Entertainment planner: Jan. 30-Feb. 12 – PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 30 January 2020
- Winter Guide: Music | Winter Guide 2020 – Pittsburgh City Paper, 29 January 2020
- The best concerts in Pittsburgh in February and March – NEXTPittsburgh, 28 January 2020
- Devil is in the details as Pittsburgh choir readies world premiere – The Beaver County Times, 26 January 2020
- Sing a Song of Satan – Pittsburgh Magazine, 15 January 2020
- Mendelssohn Choir Premieres Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s “Satan’s Fall” – The Almanac, 24 December 2019
- SATAN’S FALL Will Premiere At The Roxian Theatre With the Mendelssohn Choir in February – Broadway World, 5 December 2019
- Stewart Copeland discusses The Police, working with Pittsburgh’s Mendelssohn Choir – PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 23 October 2019
- Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh will premiere Police drummer’s oratorio – PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 15 October 2019
- Stewart Copeland of the Police talks devilish collaboration with Pittsburgh choir – The Beaver County Times, 15 September 2019
- The Police drummer to premiere work with Mendelssohn Choir – The Beaver County Times, 5 September 2019