Metropolitan Hilarion on the features of the upcoming performance of the Christmas Oratorio
One of the important events of these Christmas days will be your oratorio. What will be the feature of the new performance?
– The Christmas oratorio was written by me almost 10 years ago, and its premiere took place 9 years ago. The first performance took place in Washington, at the National Cathedral Basilica – this is the largest religious building in North America, as far as I know. About 5 thousand people gathered there. Several choral groups performed: the choir of the Tretyakov Gallery, the Moscow Boys Chapel, the Washington Boys’ Choir and the orchestra of the Ministry of Defense, conducted by the late Major General (then) Valery Khalilov.
We traveled with him several cities in America, made friends very much during this trip. With us was the then Minister of Culture Alexander Sokolov. The friendship with Valery Mikhailovich was preserved literally until the moment when I found out about his death. And of course, this tragedy, which shocked us all, resonated very deeply in my heart.
On November 15, as part of the subscription dedicated to my 50th birthday at the Moscow Conservatory, several choir groups performed, including the choir of the Soviet Army Song and Dance Ensemble, and the choirmaster was conducted by the main choirmaster Konstantin Mayorov. It is difficult to believe that almost none of those who then stood on the stage are now alive. Including Konstantin, who was our parishioner, he was a singer of our Synodal choir, a very church man – he confessed, communed.
When all this happened, I thought that the performance of the Christmas oratorio should be devoted to the memory of Valery Mikhailovich, who was her first performer, and all those people whose lives so tragically ended in this terrible plane crash. Children will take part in this performance. They will not only sing in the choir, since the oratorio’s score implies the participation of the boys’ choir, and there is an aria that the boy sings, but the children will read the gospel. Through this reading of the Gospel, I would like children to join the story of the Nativity of Christ, the Annunciation, the Presentation of the Lord on which this oratorio is built.
In addition, this performance will be accompanied by a very colorful video sequence, which will be created by the Crocus team. In accordance with my desire, the video will be built on ancient canonical frescoes and mosaics dedicated to Christmas events. As far as I know, the first parts of the oratorio will be illustrated, again on my advice, with mosaics of St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice. All this, I hope, will be very colorful, very beautiful, and I would like people to come with children, so that both children and adults will see and hear all this.
– Vladyka, please say a few words of parting words for the New Year to our viewers.
– I would like to heartily wish all the audience a Happy New Year. To express very ardent hope that 2017 will be a prosperous and bright year for our country, there will not be such tragedies as we experienced in 2016. That the Lord will bless us with peace and that we will all fulfill the will of God in our lives. Because when the human will coincides with the will of God, then everything is fine, and when a person goes against God, then everything becomes bad.
God grant that we live in Christ and that we always do what the Lord expects and wants from us.