Two vocalists familiar to North Okanagan audiences are returning home to perform Franz Joseph Haydn’s masterpiece oratorio, The Creation, with the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra (OSO) April 12.
Soprano Siobhan Raupach and bass Randall Jakobsh, who are both originally from Vernon, will join tenor Isaiah Bell of Victoria, the OSO and the 60-member Okanagan Symphony Chorus for the concert in the Vernon Performing Arts Centre.
“As we leap into spring, The Creation is a great way to celebrate Easter and Earth Day,” said OSO music director Rosemary Thomson, adding the piece will be sung in German with projected English subtitles.
“The Creation has glorious music that alternates between the soloists (representing angels, Adam and Eve), the chorus, and always accompanied by the orchestra. Haydn shows his brilliance with word painting, setting particular texts with music that paints a sound picture of that text.”
Widely regarded as Haydn’s masterpiece, The Creation is based on texts from the Book of Genesis and Milton’s Paradise Lost. The score depicts the formless void, the starry firmament and the multitude of creation, said Thomson.
“My favourite example is when the baritone soloist sings, ‘And God created whales.’ At this point, Haydn has all of the low, dark instruments – the cellos and basses, the bassoons and the wonderful contrabassoon – create the ocean’s depths where you can almost hear the whale song.”
Singing the role of Gabriel/Eve is Raupach, who graduated from Kalamalka Secondary School in 2008.
While growing up in Vernon, Raupach was a student of vocal instructor Terry Logan and also studied piano, sang in Logan’s choir Chantant, and played clarinet with her school concert and jazz bands.
A recipient of the Elizabeth Scott vocal choral bursary, Raupach went on to achieve her bachelor’s of music from Montreal’s McGill University in 2013 and is currently pursuing a master’s degree at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Jakobsh, who now lives in Liepzig, Germany, pursued his vocal studies at the Juilliard School in New York City and at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia.
He has since established an international reputation appearing in important engagements with major opera companies in Europe, South America, Canada and the U.S.
His roles encompass a broad spectrum from the bass-baritone repertoire, including Sarastro, Osmin, Fasolt, Fafner Hunding, Philip II, Zaccaria, Gremin and Pimen, to Nick Shadow, Don Giovanni, Figaro and Scarpia.
“In addition to our three amazing soloists, the chorus has been rehearsing with me throughout the year and we have all completely fallen in love with this incredible music,” said Thomson. “If you know singers from any type of choir they would really enjoy this piece.”
The April 12 performance of The Creation takes place at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at the Ticket Seller box office. Order by phone at 250-549-7469 or online at www.ticketseller.ca.