The Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh (MCP) has announced its upcoming 2019–’20 season. At 112 years in operation, the Mendelssohn Choir is the city’s most celebrated chorus. Composed of approximately 150 singers, it is led by Robert Page Music Director Matthew Mehaffey.
The Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh (MCP)’s 2019-‘20 season will open Oct. 23 with An Evening with Stewart Copeland. The event will include a live, on-stage conversation with the former rock drummer, founder of the legendary post-punk band The Police and composer of Satan’s Fall, an oratorio commissioned by the MCP. Excerpts of the newly commissioned work are performed by the MCP and followed by commentary from the composer himself. Copeland will be interviewed by local DJ (and super fan) Russ “Whip” Rose of WDVE 102.5 at Mr. Small’s Theater, 400 Lincoln Avenue, Millvale, an indie-rock venue. Cash bars and a robust bar menu will be on offer. An Evening with Stewart Copeland will include the live interview with Whip as well as Q & A with the audience.
The world premiere of Satan’s Fall will be presented by the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh (MCP) February 7 and 8, 2020 at the newly restored Roxian Theatre, a mid-size rock venue in McKees Rocks, PA (425 Chartiers Avenue).
Satan’s Fall is a commissioned work for large chorus by Stewart Copeland, MCP’s 2019-’20 Composer in Residence. After his last concert with The Police, in 1984, Copeland began exploring genres beyond rock, going on to become an award-winning composer responsible for some of the film world’s most innovative scores. He has described this journey as a 20-year intensive education in how to tell stories with music.
That journey eventually led him into the world of contemporary classical composition, creating pieces for orchestra, chamber opera, and ballet. As he ventured deeper, he came to be fascinated by the story of Satan as told by John Milton in Paradise Lost.
Accompanied by an instrumental ensemble – and soloists voicing lead roles including the archangels Raphael and Raphaella, as well as God, Satan, and the Messiah – the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh (MCP) will unleash that heavenly sound. Audiences can expect to be immersed in the drama and emotion of a truly epic conflict. MCP will perform the world premiere of Satan’s Fall on February 7 and 8, 2020, at the Roxian Theatre in McKees Rocks (425 Chartiers Avenue).
Before these sweeping performances reach the stage, Stewart Copeland will be the guest of honor at an MCP fundraiser five course dinner at Casbah in Shadyside (229 S Highland Avenue) on October 24, 2019, part of the Casbah Benefit Dinner Series. Forty-eight guests will enjoy a full dinner with wine pairings with Copeland in Casbah’s private dining room.
Later, in the spring, MCP presents The Greatest Generation: An American Oratorio, a ground-breaking multimedia production of actors, chorus, orchestra, and film that combines the great, popular tunes of the Second World War era with new, original compositions and arrangements to bring us together across the generations to consider the ties that bind us as a community and country.
With a libretto by Dan Kehde and original music and arrangements by Roger Ames with Elizabeth Bassine, the work includes classic songs by Cole Porter, Glenn Miller, Sammy Fain, Irving Berlin, Herman Hupfield, Richard Rogers, Moss Hart and the Gershwins, among others. From enlistment and deployment to the hardships of the family left behind, to the years overseas and final, bittersweet victory, the trials of love and war are brought to life in this musical odyssey.