MCP’s Victoria’s Secret: A Life in Music Fit for a Queen!
On May 18 and 19, the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh (MCP) brought the Victorian Era to Pittsburgh with a musical celebration of Queen Victoria’s 200th birthday! Titled Victoria’s Secret: A Life in Music, and conducted and conceived by MCP Music Director Matthew Mehaffey, the performance took audiences at East Liberty Presbyterian Church (ELPC) (May 18) and Westminster Presbyterian Church (May 19) on an historical musical journey through the life and times of Queen Victoria. The concert featured familiar tunes like Wagner’s “Here Comes the Bride” (Victoria’s wedding march), Handel’s “Zadok the Priest” (Victoria’s coronation theme), and Mendelssohn’s “And Then Shall Your Light Break Forth,” from his oratorio Elijah, plus lesser known tunes like “Vouchsafe O Lord” by Arthur Sullivan, and “Carmen Saeculare,” an ode to Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee with text by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Audiences were shepherded through various points in Victoria’s life by actor Bradley Greenwald, who played a host of historical characters significant to Victoria, and by Pittsburgh actress Lisa Ann Goldsmith, the voice of Queen Victoria herself. After a rousing rendition of “God Save the Queen,” which had audiences on their feet and singing along, everyone was treated to birthday cakes fit for royalty, created specifically for each concert. Meghann Walsh, pastry chef of Cioppino’s Restaurant & Cigar Bar, designed the cake for the May 18th performance at ELPC, while the cake artists at Bethel Bakery baked a masterpiece for the May 19th performance at Westminster Presbyterian. An audience member had this to say about the performance: “[The concert] was delightful! The choice of music, some familiar, was beautiful, and the narrations were so well done to tie it all together. I thought the Downton Abbey concert was great, but the Victoria was even better. Thanks for offering these wonderful Journeys in Music…”
Read what the critics had to say:
- Review: ‘Victoria’s Secret’ program draws crowd to choir concert – The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 22 May 2019
- Celebrate Queen Victoria’s 200th birthday with a six-tier cake and Mendelssohn – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 15 May 2019
- Bethel Bakery takes the cake for Queen Victoria celebration – The Almanac, 10 May 2019
- Q&A with Matthew Mehaffey, Creator of Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh’s upcoming Queen Victoria Birthday Celebration Concert – The Urban Twist, 6 May 2019
- The 5 best classical concerts coming in May – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2 May 2019
- Upper St. Clair native creates musical ‘Victoria’s Secret’ – The Almanac, 30 April 2019
- Mendelssohn Choir celebrates Queen Victoria with music by Strauss, Wagner, and more – Broadway World, 14 March 2019
Click for more photos of the performance. All concert photos courtesy of Alisa Garin Photography.