MCP Rocks the House with Satan’s Fall!

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!

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