Oratorio Society of New York Launches 140th Season With Handel's MESSIAH, 12/7
The 140th anniversary concert season of Oratorio Society of New York, the city's own 200-voice volunteer chorus, which was to begin on November 5 with an all-American program before the effects of Hurricane Sandy forced its postponement, will now launch on Monday, December 17, at 8:00 PM with the group's annual Christmastime performance of Handel's Messiah.
The OSNY announces the rescheduling of the "American Voices" program, which features the New York premiere of Paul Moravec's oratorio The Blizzard Voices as well as music by Copland and Ives, with soloists including sopranos Susanna Phillips and Maeve Höglund, on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 (more below).
The Oratorio Society of New York made its debut on December 3, 1873, and through the next 138 seasons, during which many thousands of singers have passed through its membership, it has become the city's standard for grand, joyous choral performance-since 2005 under the leadership of Music Director Kent Tritle. The Oratorio Society's annual presentation of Messiah, begun in 1874, is a New York tradition, and is distinguished by what The New York Times has described as " the sheer heft and depth of the chorus's sound," also commenting, "The Oratorio Society has held the line for choral grandeur."
Young Soloists, Including OSNY Competition Finalist/Award Winners
Of the four Messiah soloists one is a past finalist and two are past prizewinners of the OSNY's annual Lyndon Woodside Oratorio-Solo Competition, and all four are young American stars or stars on the rise: Nacole Palmer, soprano (prizewinner, 2012); mezzo-soprano Hai-Ting Chinn, making her first appearance with the Oratorio Society; Matthew Garrett, tenor (finalist, 2005); and baritone Philip Cutlip (prizewinner, 1992).
Kent Tritle on Messiah
"The Oratorio Society is a large chorus," says Music Director Kent Tritle, "and my teachers always said to me that large choruses can't move. One of the things that makes our Messiahs so great is that this chorus does move! Their execution of the melismas, affectionately referred to as 'the runs'-is phenomenal. There is nothing like giving the downbeat to 'Worthy Is the Lamb' and having this wonderful, huge, warm sound envelop you and just fill the house with resonance-there's just no experience like that."
For Kent Tritle, Messiah never gets old. "It's a work that you can live with, and sculpt, and teach, and perform time and time again and still continually find new ways of being with the music." See Kent Tritle talk about Messiah in a video on the OSNY website.