Oratorio Society Of New York Performing Handel’s Messiah
Monday, December 17, 2018, At 8:00 pm
at Carnegie Hall: A New York Tradition Of The Highest Order
OSNY’s 145th Annual Performance Of This Holiday Favorite
Kent Tritle conducts; Leslie Fagan, Daniel Moody, Isaiah Bell, and Joseph Beutel are soloists
The Oratorio Society of New York has the distinction of having performed Handel’sMessiah every Christmas season since 1874, and at Carnegie Hall every year the hall has been open since 1891 – qualifying the OSNY’s annual rendition of the holiday classic as a New York tradition of the highest order.
On Monday, December 17, 2018, at 8:00 pm, Music Director Kent Tritle leads the OSNY in its 145th performance of Messiah, the second event of its annual Carnegie Hall season.
The 200-voice Oratorio Society, New York’s champion of the grand choral tradition, offers New Yorkers Messiah on an impressive scale. Commenting on a recent performance, Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim said in The New York Times, “when the entire chorus belted out the word ‘wonderful’ in ‘For unto us a child is born,’ the effect was exactly that.”
Leslie Fagan, a beloved Oratorio Society guest artist, will be the soprano soloist. The other three soloists – countertenor Daniel Moody, tenor Isaiah Bell, and baritoneJoseph Beutel – were all finalists in the Society’s Lyndon Woodside Oratorio-Solo Competition; they are now performing with the Society for the first time, and Mr. Moody is making his Carnegie Hall debut.
OSNY Carnegie Hall Season Continues with Sibelius’s Kullervo and Verdi’s Requiem
For the third concert of its Carnegie Hall series, on February 25, 2019, the Society departs from its traditional concert format with a full evening of music for divided choruses. First, the women’s chorus takes center stage to present Berlioz’ Tristia:“La mort d’Ophelie” and “Sirènes,” from Debussy’s Nocturnes. After the intermission the men’s chorus joins soloists soprano Johanna Rusanen, in her New York debut, and baritone Takaoki Onishi for one of Sibelius’s greatest symphonic choral works, Kullervo. This performance of Kullervo, the first in the OSNY’s history, is made possible by the Jane and Aatos Errko Foundation.
The Oratorio Society will end its 2018-19 season on May 9, 2019, with Verdi’s thrillingly dramatic Messa da Requiem, with soprano Elizabeth de Trejo, mezzo-soprano Raehann Bryce-Davis, tenor Joshua Blue, and bass Adam Lau.
Lyndon Woodside Oratorio–Solo Competition Finals Concert—April 6, 2019
On April 6, the Oratorio Society will hold the finals of its annual Lyndon Woodside Oratorio-Solo Competition, which remains the only major competition to focus exclusively on oratorio singing, in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Each of the eight finalists will perform two works in concert before a panel of distinguished judges, and prizes are announced immediately after the judges’ deliberations.
Leslie Fagan, soprano, has performed under the batons of such noted conductors as Sir David Willcocks, Hans Graf, Jukka Pekka Saraste, Kent Tritle, Heinz Ferlisch, Victor Borge, and Elmer Isler. She is a regular guest artist with the OSNY; her 2011 performance in Poulenc’s Gloria was heralded as “one of the most memorable performances of the season” by Opera News. She has recently released the first disc in a project to promote Canadian art song: Thread of Winter.www.canadianartsong.com www.lesliefagan.com
Daniel Moody, countertenor, has garnered widespread acclaim for his commanding yet expressive vocal timbre. Praised as having a “vocal resonance, [which] makes a profoundly startling impression” (The New York Times), Mr. Moody has recently performed with Les Violons du Roy, Portland Baroque Orchestra, and Cincinnati Opera; in the title roles in Handel’s Giulio Cesare and Rinaldo, and roles in Mark Morris’s productions of Britten’s Curlew River and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas at BAM. www.danielmoodycountertenor.com
Isaiah Bell, tenor, who has been praised for his “beautiful tenor, command of style, and natural stage presence,” in October of this year created the role of Antinous, the tragic lover of the Roman emperor Hadrian, in the world premiere of Rufus Wainwright’s Hadrian at the Canadian Opera Company, appearing alongside Thomas Hampson as Hadrian and Karita Mattila as Plotina. Recent engagements include George Benjamin’s Written on Skin with the Toronto Symphony conducted by the composer, and Mark Morris’s double-bill production of Curlew River andDido and Aeneas at BAM. www.isaiahbell.com
Joseph Beutel, bass-baritone, who has been praised as “an imposing bass-baritone” by Opera News, has performed with such companies as Santa Fe Opera, Minnesota Opera, Seattle Opera, and the New York Philharmonic, to name a few. Recent engagements have included Hotel Manager/Duke/Judge in Adès’s Powder Her Facewith Skylight Music Theatre; roles in Martinů’s Comedy on the Bridge and Alexandre bis with Gotham Chamber Opera; and Sulpice in Donizetti’s La fille du régiment with Fargo-Moorhead Opera. www.josephbeutel.com
OSNY Music Director since the 2005-06 season, Kent Tritle is also Music Director of the professional chorus Musica Sacra, and Director of Cathedral Music and Organist at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine where he directs the concert series Great Music in a Great Space. Mr. Tritle is Director of Choral Activities at the Manhattan School of Music and a member of the graduate faculty of the Juilliard School. An acclaimed organ virtuoso, he is the organist of the New York Philharmonic and the American Symphony Orchestra. www.kenttritle.com
Since its founding in 1873, the Oratorio Society of New York, New York’s 200-voice avocational chorus, has become the city’s standard for grand choral performance, having performed world, U.S., and New York premieres of works as diverse as Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem (1877), Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette (1882), a full-concert production of Wagner’s Parsifal at the Metropolitan Opera House (1886), Britten’s The World of the Spirit (1998), Filas’s Song of Solomon (2012), Moravec’sBlizzard Voices (2013), and, in 2018, the Paul Moravec/Mark Campbell oratorioSanctuary Road, and Behzad Ranjbaran’s We Are One in their world premiere performances. On its 100th anniversary the Oratorio Society received the Handel Medallion, New York City’s highest cultural award, in recognition of its contributions. www.oratoriosocietyofny.org