6:45 PM: PRE-CONCERT LECTURE
Featuring Michael Marissen, author of “Tainted Glory in Handel’s Messiah: The Unsettling History of the World’s most beloved Choral Work.”
Special Thanks to our
Reception Wine Sponsor
AN EASTER MESSIAH
Saturday, April 2 at 7:30pm
Zilkha Hall / Hobby Center For The Performing Arts
The critically acclaimed Orpheus Chamber Singers from Dallas return for a collaboration on Handel’s Messiah with conductor John Butt, whose recent recording of the Mozart Requiem with the Dunedin Consort won a Gramophone Award in 2014. This Easter Messiah will be a performance of the complete work, with a cast of stellar soloists and full Baroque orchestra.
About the Artists:
John Butt, conductor
John Butt, two-times Gramophone Award winner, is Gardiner Professor of Music at the University of Glasgow and musical director of Edinburgh's Dunedin Consort. His career as both musician and scholar centres on music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, but he is also concerned with the implications of the past in our present culture. Author of five monographs, Butt has written extensively on Bach, the baroque, the historical performance revival and issues of modernity. His discography includes eleven recordings on organ and harpsichord for Harmonia Mundi (France) and eleven recent recordings for Linn Records. Highlights, as conductor of Dunedin, include the award-winning recordings of Handel’s Messiah and Mozart’s Requiem (which was also nominated for a Grammy Award), together with significant recordings of Bach’s Passions, Mass and Brandenburg Concertos, and Handel’s Acis and Esther. His recording of Bach’s Magnificat, in the context of Bach’s Christmas Vespers service was released in November 2015 and, in March 2016, Bach’s Violin Concertos (with Dunedin’s leader, Cecilia Bernardini) will be released.
John Butt been appointed an FBA and a FRSE, and has been awarded the Dent Medal of the Royal Musical Society, and the RAM/Kohn Foundation's Bach Prize. In 2013 he was awarded the medal of the Royal College of Organists, together with an OBE.
American soprano Melissa Givens moves and excites audiences and critics alike with a rich, powerful tone, crystalline clarity, and intelligent musical interpretations. Especially noted for her expressiveness and elegance on the stage, she’s been hailed as a singer whose music making is “consistently rewarding” and “a pleasure to hear.” Givens is also an extremely versatile artist, regularly performing repertoire from the Baroque era through music of the 21st century. A writer for Classical.Net marveled, “Melissa Givens has a voice you imagine coming from the goddess Erda” in a review of Sing Freedom!, Conspirare’s 2012 recording of spirituals on the Harmonia Mundi label. Recent performances include Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and appearances with Houston Camerata, the Sam Houston State University Symphony, the Woodlands Symphony, and the Boulder Bach Festival.
Currently on the voice faculties of Sam Houston State and Texas Southern Universities, she remains in demand on concert series throughout the United States and abroad, and counts Ars Lyrica Houston and the Grammy© winning Conspirare: Craig Hella Johnson and Company of Voices as frequent collaborators. Her solo appearances on their major label releases have received enthusiastic reviews. She can also be heard on her solo CD, let the rain kiss you.
Jay Carter has gained recognition as one of the nation’s finest countertenors. A frequent collaborator with period and modern ensembles, Carter is recognized as a leading interpreter of late Baroque repertoire. Recent appearances include Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the American Bach Soloists and the Choir of St. Thomas Church, Handel’s Messiah with the National Symphony, and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Handel’s Saul with Musica Vocale and the Kansas City Baroque Consortium, and the North American Premiere of John Tavener’s Lament for Jerusalem with the Choral Arts Society of Washington. In recent seasons he has appeared with acclaimed conductors Nicholas McGegan, Ton Koopman, John Scott, and Matthew Halls.
He received a Masters in Music from the Yale School of Music and Institute of Sacred Music, and received his undergraduate degree from William Jewell College where he studied voice with Arnold Epley. He lives in Liberty, Missouri with his family, and serves as Artist-in-residence at William Jewell College.
Grammy Award winning tenor Aaron Sheehan has quickly established himself as one of the leading American tenors of his generation. His voice is heard regularly in the U.S. and Europe, and he is equally comfortable in repertoire ranging from oratorio and chamber music to the opera stage. His singing has taken him to many festivals and venues, including Tanglewood, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, the Concertgebouw, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Théâtre des Champs Elysées, the early music festivals of Boston, San Francisco, Houston, Tucson, Washington, D.C., and Madison. Known especially for his Baroque interpretations, Aaron has made a name as a first-rate singer of oratorios and cantatas. He has appeared as soloist in concert with Boston Early Music Festival, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Tafelmusik, San Juan Symphony, American Bach Soloists, Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, North Carolina Symphony, Charlotte Symphony, Carmel Bach Festival, Ars Lyrica, Baltimore Handel Choir, Pacific Chorale, Tempesta di Mare, Pacific Music Works, Opera Lafayette, Aston Magna Festival, Bach Collegium San Diego, Tragicomedia, and Les Voix Baroques.
American bass Curtis Streetman’s artistry has been presented in some of the world’s major concert halls and opera houses. Operatic performances include appearances at The Salzburg Festival, opera houses in Vienna, Bilbao, Dortmund, Halle, Naples, and Victoria. Recent debuts include performances in Geneva, Basel, and at The Theatre Champs-Elyseée in Paris. Other venues include Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Vienna’s Musikverein in performances of Handel’s Radamisto. Streetman made his Kennedy Center debut with The National Symphony in Handel’s Messiah, and performed Schumann’s Goethe’s Faust with The Cleveland Orchestra.
Recording credits include Monteverdi’s Vespers for Musical Heritage Society, Castelnuovo-Tedesko’s Romanciero Gitano for New World Classics, Charpentier Christmas Cantatas for Naxos, Handel’s Ricardo Primo on Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, and Andrew Parrott’s recording of Monteverdi’s Orfeo.
Baroque violinist Elizabeth Blumenstock is widely admired as a performer of interpretive eloquence and technical sparkle. A frequent soloist, concertmaster, and leader with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, the Santa Fe Pro Musica, and the Italian ensemble Il Complesso Barocco, she is also a member of several of California’s finest period instrument ensembles, including Musica Pacifica, Trio Galatea, the Arcadian Academy, and Trio Galanterie. She has appeared with period orchestras and chamber ensembles throughout the United States and abroad, and has performed for the Boston and Berkeley Early Music Festivals, Germany's Goettingen Handelfestspiel, Los Angeles Opera, the Carmel Bach Festival, the Oulunsalo Soi festival in Finland, and the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival, among many others. With over 90 recordings to her credit, she has recorded for harmonia mundi, Deutsche Grammophon, Virgin Classics, Dorian, BMG, Reference Recordings, and Koch International. She is instructor of baroque violin at the University of Southern California, and has taught at the International Baroque Institute at Longy, Oberlin’s Baroque Performance Institute, and the Austrian Baroque Academy, and has coached university Baroque ensembles at USC, Roosevelt University, the University of Virginia, and California Institute of the Arts.
Donald Krehbiel is the Founder and Artistic Director of Orpheus Chamber Singers, a 24-voice professional chorus in Dallas, Texas, and Director of Music and Organist at First Unitarian Church of Dallas for the past 25 years, conducting two adult choirs and administering a vibrant program of volunteer and professional musicians. He has also served as adjunct choral director at Southern Methodist University and prepared the Dallas Symphony Chorus for a Carnegie Hall concert and grammy-nominated recording under the direction of maestro Jaap van Zweden.
In addition to his career in choral music, he has also enjoyed a career as tenor soloist and chorister, performing with noted early music ensembles in the southwest as well as the Robert Shaw Festival Singers and The Carmel Bach Festival. In 2010 Mr. Krehbiel was presented two awards for excellence in church music: The Ruth Clark Award from The North Texas Association of Unitarian Universalist Societies, and the Soli Deo Gloria Award from Perkins School of Theology.
Orpheus Chamber Singers is a professional chamber choir of 25 mixed voices in Dallas, Texas. Driven by the highest standards for choral performance, Donald Krehbiel has assembled a group of 24 of the finest singers, many of them recognized soloists, blending them into a richly satisfying ensemble capable of mastering music of every period. Now in its 21st season, Orpheus sets the standard for choral singing in the area and regularly receives critical acclaim for its exquisite sound and polish.
Repertoire includes diverse styles of music from around the globe and commissions of outstanding new works. The ensemble has made numerous guest appearances and outreach to area schools in addition to its regular concert series. Orpheus has four commercial recordings: A Sound of Angels, Night Sounds, a compilation of works from live performances, A World of Sound, and Gifts of Christmas. With performances of nearly 900 works, Orpheus has become known for passionate performances of traditional and innovative chamber choral music.
Orpheus Chamber Singers
Donald Krehbiel, Artistic Director
John Butt, conductor
Laura Warriner Bray