William & Mary

W&M Choir Performs Haydn's "The Creation"

W&M ChoirThe William and Mary Choir under the direction of James Armstrong will perform Joseph Haydn's oratorio Die Schöpfung (The Creation), the first universally acclaimed masterwork in the history of Western music, on Friday, April 6 and Saturday, April 7 at 7:30 PM in Phi Beta Kappa Hall on the College of William and Mary campus in Williamsburg.

The Choir will collaborate with an orchestra of period instruments gathered for the occasion—33 professional instrumentalists hailing from New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Williamsburg, Chapel Hill and Bloomington, Indiana who specialize in the performance of instruments of the late classical and early romantic era. The performances will feature professional soloists Georgeann Paddock (soprano), Frederick Urrey (tenor) and Andrew Wentzel (bass).

Die Schöpfung is a setting of the creation story as told in the book of Genesis with passages drawn from the Psalms and inspired in part by Milton's Paradise Lost. Composed by Haydn between 1796 and 1798, Die Schöpfung received its first performances in Vienna to uniformly enthusiastic audiences in the year of its completion. From the enigmatic and musically daring Representation of Chaos to the ebullient music of Adam and Eve's joys in Eden, this composition of Haydn's old age and an expression of Enlightenment ideals seems as fresh and engaging today as it must have seemed to astonished audiences in Haydn's time. Children and adults alike will find Die Schöpfung a delight.

These performances are made possible through a generous gift from alumna and former choir member Carol Woody (’71). She has made her gift in honor of her father. Woody began sponsorship of the George N. Clayman concerts in 2004, when the W&M Choir performed Bach's St. John Passion.

Tickets and information are available at 757 221-1085 and creationtickets@wm.edu.  $15 in advance, $20 at the door.