Opera of Florence 'celebrates' God's Creation

Opera of Florence 'celebrates' God's Creation

The choir and the orchestra of the Florence Opera

“Im Anfange schuf Gott Himmel und Erde!”

May 06, 2015 | Florence, Italy. | Andreas Mazza, EUD News Editor, CD EUDNews.

'On Saturday night, May 2, I had the privilege of 'contemplating' God’s Creation at the Florence Opera, thanks to the fact that my wife Irida Dragoti, is an adventist opera singer, mezzo-soprano and part of the huge and outstanding ensemble of the Florence Opera. It was somehow striking to see a secular theatre celebrating God’s literal Creation of the Earth, singing Bible verses from the book of Genesis and praising God through the Psalms.' 

“Im Anfange schuf Gott Himmel und Erde!"

The Creation (German: Die Schöpfung) is an oratorio written between 1797 and 1798 by Franz Joseph Haydn, and considered by many to be his masterpiece. Franz Joseph Haydn (1732–1809) is often called "father of the symphony”, he was a close friend of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Beethoven's teacher.

The oratorio depicts and celebrates the Creation of the world as described in the book of Genesis.

It was during his visits to England in 1791–1792 and 1794–1795 that Franz Joseph Haydn was inspired to write this masterpiece, after hearing a great performace of Georg Friedrich Haendel's great oratorios. Israel in Egypt is believed to have been one of them.

The lyrics of The Creation has a long history. The three sources are Genesis, the Biblical book of Psalms and John Milton’s Genesis epic 'Paradise Lost'.

The Creation is set for three vocal soloists (soprano, tenor, and bass, with an incidental solo for alto in the finale), four-part chorus (soprano, alto, tenor, bass), and a large classical orchestra consisting of 3 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, contrabassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, alto, tenor, and bass trombones, timpani, and the usual string sections of first and second violins, violas, cellos and double basses.

The Florence Opera choral singers - one of the best choirs in Italy and worldwide, conducted by Maestro Lorenzo Fratini – performed a series of monumental choruses, several of them celebrating the end of one particular day of creation.

The orchestra - conducted by the legendary and world renowned, Zubin Mehta – often performed alone, especially in the scene describing the appearance of the sun, the creation of various beasts, and above all in the overture, the famous depiction of Chaos before Creation.

The Creation is written in three parts. Part I celebrates the initial creation of light, the Earth, the heavenly bodies, bodies of water, the atmosphere and plant life. Part II celebrates the creation of sea creatures, birds, animals, and lastly, man. Part III takes place in the Garden of Eden, and narrates Adam and Eve's first happy moments.

'A poetic tale of God's Creation interspersed with angelic praise and glory to His power and majesty. It is like the books of Genesis and Psalms were a single book. It ends with a poem about the love between Adam and Eve, with sweet and profound dialogue. All performed with superb music and beautifully harmonious singing. The stars of heaven declare the glory of God. A wonderful night of poetry, worship and music. The Florence Opera was transformed into an eternal and universal temple.

"We rejoiced and prayed altogether, raptured in a moment of eternity. "

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