“Paradise Lost,” a musical adaptation of John Milton’s epic poem, by J.A. Meyrelles and director Donna Axton, and “Frostiana,” by Randall Thompson, his setting of seven Robert Frost poems, will be presented by the Sierra Nevada College Concert Choir.
The performances will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 19, and Saturday, April 21, in the St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church at Incline Village, Nevada.
Tickets are $15 general admission, $12 in advance and $10 for students and seniors. They are available at Potlatch, Artists of Lake Tahoe, SNC bookstore, from choir members or at the door. For more info, call 775-881-7586.
“Paradise Lost” is an original score. The characters are iconic: God and Satan, Adam and Eve. The musical styles range from Baroque to Broadway to gospel. The story tells of Satan’s rebellion against God, his “fall” from grace and from heaven, his subsequent temptation of Adam and Eve, and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. The piece ends with Archangel Michael predicting the coming of a “bright King” who is to bring redemption for the sins of mankind.
This may sound like a weighty subject, press material explain, however, the concert is full of humor and light, and is a lot fun. It has everything: beautiful love songs for Adam and Eve, sorrowful and powerful arias by God, nasty and devious manipulations by Satan, and a happy ending in which all is redeemed.
The SNC choir is an important character itself — acting alternately as a choir of angels (when they sing with God) and a choir of demons (when accompanying Satan). Featured soloists include Marty Gollery (as Satan), Dave Pierce (God), Caroline Kaplan and Tammy Brock (Eve), Dave Marelich (Adam), Helene Larson and Lorelei Van Peborgh (the witnesses), and Dave Anderson (Michael the Archangel). A small orchestra will highlight both “Frostiana” and “Paradise Lost.”
Axton is head of the music program at SNC. She and Chip Meyrelles created “Paradise Lost” in 2004 and the SNC Concert Choir gave its first performance. It was subsequently performed and recorded in NYC.