Haydn’s “The Creation” may be about the Lord creating the universe from the void, but serves as proof that artistic inspiration is often fueled by earlier endeavors and creatively happy mistakes.
In the 1790s, during a trip to London, composer Joseph Haydn heard Handel’s oratorios. “As luck would have it, during his second visit, Haydn was offered an English libretto based on Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost,’ which had in fact been intended for Handel,” writes Ted Libbey, once of NPR’s “Performance Today.” “It was from this that ‘Die Schopfung (The Creation)’ got its start. Haydn began to sketch the oratorio in London in 1794, but because he felt more comfortable working in German, upon his return to Vienna, he had the libretto translated.”
To create the sounds of the seven days of creation, the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra has tapped the voices of several area singers. Paul Neal, Valdosta Symphony Orchestra’s associate conductor, leads this full chorus and soloists which feature the talents of internationally renowned tenor Stanford Olsen, bass Nathan Stark, and Valdosta’s own, soprano Tamara Hardesty.
This week, the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra is also participating in the annual League of American Orchestra’s Orchestras Feeding America National Food Drive. Food collected during this drive will be donated to Second Harvest of South Georgia. Donations can dropped off at the Valdosta State University Fine Arts Building lobby or the Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts through Monday, March 11.
As for this weekend’s concert, “The Creation” will be the evening’s entire performance. In three parts, Haydn’s work presents the first four days within the first part, the fifth and sixth days within the second part, while the third part concentrates on Adam and Eve’s time in Eden “before the Fall.”
Libbey notes on the third part, “Haydn reaches the work’s highest level of inspiration. As he visits our ‘Grand Parents’ in the Garden of Eden, the music fills with humanity and warmth, expressing the beauty of Creation and its fulfillment in the emotion of love.”
Valdosta Symphony Orchestra presents Haydn’s “The Creation.”
When: 8 p.m. Saturday, March 9.
Where: Whitehead Auditorium, Valdosta State University Fine Arts Building, corner of Oak and Brookwood.
Reservations, more information: Call (229) 333-2150; or visit valdostasymphony.org