Blinn Music Department to stage 'A Night of Oratorio' on Friday, April 1

Performance will include selections by composers Bach, Handel, and Mendelssohn

March 25, 2022

The Blinn College District Music Department will present “A Night of Oratorio” on Friday, April 1, recreating a form of entertainment invented in early modern Europe for an opera-loving public during Lent.

The 7 p.m. recital is free and open to the public and will be held at Finke Recital Hall on the Blinn-Brenham Campus. Finke Recital Hall is located in the C.F. Schmidt Building at 800 College Avenue (map). It also will be livestreamed on the Blinn College Music Department YouTube Channel.

Performers will be Blinn Professor Dr. Daniel Johnson (lyric baritone) and Blinn students Mikayla Wallis (soprano) Charis Wirtley (alto), Cody Prause (tenor), and Joe Koehler-Houlihan (bass). Staff pianist Mary Ann Hatfield will be the accompanist.

Johnson said oratorio, or “sacred opera,” was created when the pope’s censors shut down Italian opera houses during Lent.

“Opera was the most popular form of public entertainment,” Johnson said. “The populace still needed their ‘opera fix’ during Lent, so they invented a form of ‘sacred opera’ based on Biblical stories and the lives of the saints.”

Part One of “A Night of Oratorio” will be “An Evening at Church,” featuring music by well-known composers Johann Sebastian Bach, George Handel, and Felix Mendelssohn. Part Two will be “An Evening at … Oh, Never Mind,” with music by P.D.Q. Bach, a fictional composer invented by American music satirist Peter Schickele.

For more information regarding the Blinn Music Program, including scholarship and audition opportunities, visit www.blinn.edu/music.

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