‘Noah’s Ark’ opera in Oak Ridge

Sandra ClarkOur Town Arts

On Saturday, March 10, the young vocalists of the Sound Company Children’s Choir of Oak Ridge will join with the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra to perform British composer Benjamin Britten’s “Noye’s Fludde.” This opera is based on the 15th-century Chester mystery play about the Old Testament story of Noah’s Ark.

The orchestra, conducted by Dan Allcott, will also play “Siegfried Idyll,” German composer Richard Wagner’s tribute to his wife and newborn son. The concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. at Oak Ridge High School Performing Arts Center.

“Noye’s Fludde” is a one-act opera intended primarily for amateur performers, particularly children. The opera received its American premiere in New York in March 1959. Since then it has been staged worldwide; the performance in Beijing in October 2012 was the first in China of any Britten opera. The occasion of Britten’s centenary in 2013 led to numerous productions at music festivals, both in the UK and abroad.

Son of a dentist, Britten (1913-76) was an English composer, conductor and pianist. He was a central figure of 20th-century British classical music, with a range of works including opera, other vocal music, as well as orchestral and chamber pieces.

The Sound Company Children’s Choir comprises about 100 children ranging from grades 1 through 12. The multi-age choir performs in Oak Ridge, Knoxville and other sites in East Tennessee. Older children travel periodically to participate in competitions and concerts.

Wagner originally intended the ”Siegfried Idyll” to remain a private piece. But financial pressures convinced him to sell the score after he expanded the orchestration to 35 players to make the piece more marketable.

The Oak Ridge Civic Music Association participates in the Penny4Arts program. All students 18 and under may attend events free during the 2017-18 season. General admission is $25; a discounted young adult ticket (ages 19-29) sells for $10. Tickets are available here or by calling 865-483-5569.

Submitted by the Oak Ridge Civic Music Association.

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