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Houston Symphony Celebrates with Handel's MESSIAH, Now thru 12/23

About Chad Shelton, tenor
This season, Chad Shelton's performance highlights include Gerald Barry's The Importance of Being Earnest with the Opera national de Lorraine, Der Fliegende Holländer with the Boston Lyric Opera and Verdi's Requiem with the Brussels Philharmonic. He most recently performed with the Houston Symphony in 2010, presenting Siegel's Kaddish. A frequent leading presence with Houston Grand Opera, he has joined the company for La traviata, Carmen, Madama Butterfly, Die lustige Witwe, The Makropolous Affair, Die Zauberflöte, Billy Budd and L'elisir d'amore.

Engagements with Opera National de Lorraine include Idomeneo, Cherubini's Médée, Carmen, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Eine florentinische Tragödie and Die Zauberflöte. Other career highlights include Ermione, Lysistrata, Little Woman, Glass' Apoamattox, Rigoletto and Lucia di Lammermoor, Romeo in Roméo et Juliette, Die Fledermaus and Fidelio, Blitzstein's Regina. Acclaimed for contemporary works, he created leading roles in Adamo's Lysistrata, Little Women and Catan's Salsipuedes.

Equally in demand as a concert soloist, Shelton has joined the Minnesota Orchestra for Mozart's Requiem, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, Janacek's The Diary of One Who Disappeared and the title role of Candide. He has performed with the Pacific Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Colorado Music Festival, Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Virginia Symphony Orchestra.

About Brian Mulligan, baritone
American baritone Brian Mulligan is the 2006 winner of the International Hans Gabor Belvedere Vocal Competition, only the third American in the competition's history to win this coveted prize. He has been praised by Opera News for his "velvety, evenly and effortlessly produced baritone and nuance-rich phrasing" and by Opera Now for his "commanding presence [and] booming sound."

In the 2012-13 season, Mulligan will return to San Francisco Opera as the King's Herald in Lohengrin, Lyric Opera of Chicago as the Father in Hansel and Gretel, a debut with the Canadian Opera Company as Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor and the title role of Hamlet with Minnesota Opera. Symphonic highlights include a debut with the Baltimore Symphony in Carmina Burana, Los Angeles Master Chorale in Brahms' Requiem and the West Coast premiere of Lieberson's The World in Flower conducted by Grant Gershon.

On the concert stage, recent seasons included a Chicago Symphony debut in the world premiere performances of Songs for Adam, a cycle of meditations on Adam and Eve by composer James Primosch and poet Susan Stewart. Other highlights include Handel's Judas Maccabæus with Mo. Conlon and members of the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra, a debut with the Cleveland Orchestra in Vaughan Williams' A Sea Symphony; concert versions of Der Kaiser von Atlantis with Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Philharmonic and The Ravinia Festival, Mendelssohn's Paulus with the Houston Symphony and Mendelssohn's Elijah with the Phoenix Symphony.

A graduate of the Juilliard School, Mulligan has also been awarded a Richard Tucker Career Grant, a Sara Tucker Study Grant and the George London Prize. Mulligan holds dual citizenship in the United States and Ireland.

About Charles Hausmann
Dr. Charles S. Hausmann was named director of the Houston Symphony Chorus in 1986. He has prepared the group for more than 600 concerts, led them on numerous tours to Mexico and Europe, and worked with more than 40 acclaimed conductors including Hans Graf, Christoph Eschenbach, Claus Peter Flor and Robert Shaw. His extensive repertoire includes most of the major choral/orchestral masterworks.

As director of graduate choral studies and professor of conducting at the University of Houston's Moores School of Music since 1985, Hausmann supervises the master's and doctoral programs in choral conducting, teaches choral conducting and literature and conducts the Moores School Choral Artists-a graduate chamber choir.

An active church musician, he has conducted church choirs in Colorado, Kentucky, New Jersey and Texas. He currently serves as Director of Choral Music at Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church in Houston where he led the Houston Symphony and Chorus in a performance of Mendelssohn's St. Paul in 2008.

Hausmann frequently appears as a guest conductor, lecturer, clinician and soloist. He led the Chorus on its fourth European tour in 2007, appearing as guest conductor during the Prague Spring Festival. He and the Chorus share a 24-year collaboration with Mexico City's Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería, recently performing Mendelssohn's Elijah with former Associate Conductor, Carlos Miguel Prieto.

About the Houston Symphony
In the 2012-13 Season, the Houston Symphony is in its 99th year as one of America's leading orchestras with a full complement of concert, community, education, touring and recording activities. Under the artistic leadership of Hans Graf, the orchestra's longest serving music director, the Symphony has established a reputation for innovative, powerful performances. With its Centennial Celebration on the horizon in 2013-14, the Houston Symphony is one of the oldest performing arts organizations in Texas whose inaugural performance was held at The Majestic Theater in downtown Houston on June 21, 1913. Today, with an annual operating budget of $28 million, the full-time ensemble of 87 professional musicians is the largest performing arts organization in Houston, presenting more than 280 concerts for 300,000 people annually. For tickets and more information, visit www.houstonsymphony.org or call 713-224-7575.

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by Peter Danish