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Key Chorale Presents Elijah, Mendelssohn’s Powerful Choral Masterpiece

Baritone Jamal Sarikoki will retell the story of a man’s devotion, persecution and ascension in one of the greatest oratorios ever written. The concerts are dedicated to the late Steve Seidensticker.

Presented by Key Chorale February 28, 2019

Key Chorale’s Masterworks series will culminate on March 10 and 11, 2019, with Mendelssohn’s powerful choral masterpiece Elijah, which portrays some of the most dramatic moments in the Old Testament. These concerts will be the culminating event of the Project of Unity series sponsored by JFCS of the Suncoast, The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee, Aviva - A Campus for Senior Life, and Key Chorale. The Project of Unity, and these concerts, will be dedicated to Steve Seidensticker, who exemplified unity in our community. 

Joining the Suncoast’s premier symphonic chorus will be tenor Jason Ferrante, soprano Ruthie Nelson, contralto Robin Bier, youth soloist Annika Guyer and 35 members of the Sarasota Orchestra. They combine to tell this powerful story, in which fire comes from the heavens, storms gather, and the people cry for vengeance. From the prophet’s curse of drought, to confronting an evil queen, to ascent to heaven on a fiery chariot, “Elijah” is an extraordinary musical experience. Baritone Jamal Sarikoki will retell the story of a man’s devotion, persecution and ascension in one of the greatest oratorios ever written.

“This is an enormous production based on some of the most dramatic stories in the Old Testament,” said Maestro Joseph Caulkins. “I find the prophet Elijah to be a complex character who seems to carry his zealousness on his sleeve, who isn’t afraid to confront those not following God; but yet still finds himself unworthy of the task that has been called of him. This story, coupled with some of Mendelssohn’s most beautiful music, is what makes this oratorio so beloved.”

The concerts will take place at 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 10 and 7 p.m. on March 11 at the First United Methodist Church in Sarasota. Artistic Director Joseph Caulkins will lead a free “Behind the Music” lecture one hour before each concert. There will be a complimentary post-concert reception on Sunday, March 10.

For tickets, visit www.keychorale.org or call 941-921-4845. 

About Key Chorale
Key Chorale, the Suncoast’s premier symphonic chorus, is dedicated to transforming lives through innovative programming, artistic excellence, educational outreach and service to the community.

Key Chorale, led by Joseph Caulkins, produces high quality collaborative musical events that engage and enrich our community. Last season, Key Chorale emphasized its commitment to the best in choral music, featuring masterworks from Schubert’s Mass in G and Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs to Haydn’s Mass in Time of War and Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, performed with professional soloists and orchestra in addition to world-renowned guest artists, including conducting legend Dale Warland and concert pianist Jeffrey Biegel.

Key Chorale further fostered its collaborative spirit with performances of Cirque des Voix®, a partnership with the Circus Arts Conservatory, seen in summer 2017 on the national stage at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C. Under the baton of Joseph Caulkins, now in his 12th season as Artistic Director, Key Chorale has also become known for its community outreach programming, including “Off-Key Chorale,” a collaboration with the Neuro Challenge Foundation that uses choral singing as a new approach for Parkinson’s Disease, and “Tomorrow’s Voices Today,” arts in education programming that reaches hundreds of students each year. 

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