Flood’s a comin’

Published 10:12 pm Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The story of Noah and the Flood is one of the most well known of all Bible stories. It’s the story of how God sends a great flood to destroy the earth because of man’s wickedness. God tells Noah, the righteous man of his generation, to build an ark and save his family and two of all the animals on earth.

Noah obeyed God.

Benjamin Britten’s new-old miracle play, “Noah’s Flood” tells the story of Noah’s faithfulness coupled with a comical element. Britten’s opera is one that people of all ages will enjoy and appreciate, said Michael Hix, producer.

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Noah’s Flood will be performed at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 12 and 13, at First Baptist Church of Troy by the students in the Troy University John Long School of Music, children from the Troy Elementary School choir and members of First Baptist Church.

Dr. Catherine Allard will be the Voice of God.

“‘Noah’s Flood’ is for all ages and Benjamin Britten wrote the play to include children,” Hix said. “In this production, we have between 70 and 80 kids and a large number of people from First Baptist, including the Hand Bell Choir.”

The opera will feature a professional orchestra and a secondary student orchestra.

“Benjamin Britten’s ‘Noah’s Flood’ tells the story in a humorous way,” Hix said. “Noah’s wife is stubborn and won’t leave her home. Her friends, the gossips, want to get on the ark so they tie her up and forcefully take her onto the boat.

“A unique feature of the ‘Noah’s Flood’ is that the audience is featured in the role of the opera chorus. That’s why it’s performed in the church rather than a theater.”

The audience — the congregation — sings a hymn at the beginning of the play, in the middle and when the rainbow appears.

“For some, this will be their first time to see an opera,” Hix said. “For others, it will be their first time to be in an opera.”

“Noah’s Flood” is 50 minutes in length, a time, which is perfect for children, Hix said.

“Admission is free, so we encourage everyone to come early to find a seat on the boat,” Hix said.

“Noah’s Flood” is sponsored through a grant from the Alabama State Council on the Arts, a partner with the National Endowment for the Arts.