The Cecilia Chorus Of New York Presents Bach's Christmas Oratorio On December 14 At Carnegie Hall
The 150-voice Cecilia Chorus of New York, Mark Shapiro, Music Director will present Bach's Christmas Oratorio, with orchestral accompaniment, on Saturday, December 14 at 8:00 PM in Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, 57th Street and 7th Avenue in Manhattan.
In one of Bach's most lavish musical achievements, the Christmas story unfolds from Nativity through Epiphany in a holiday feast of choruses, ensembles and arias. "Bach didn't write opera because no one asked him to. But his oratorios and cantatas teem with character and action," said six-time ASCAP Programming Award-winning Music Director, Mark Shapiro. "In the Christmas Oratorio - particularly in our streamlined version - the musical narrative has momentum and drive as well as deep spirituality. This gorgeous work wants great singing actors to bring its drama to fullest life. Fortunately the Cecilia Chorus has assembled the perfect quintet to do it justice." Soloists for this performance will be:
Soprano Mireille Asselin, deemed "superb" by the Los Angeles Times, is at home in the worlds of opera, oratorio, concert and recitals. Her repertoire ranges from Baroque to contemporary works. A member of the Metropolitan Opera for five seasons, she has also appeared with Opera Columbus, Odyssey Opera in Boston, and Opera Atelier in Toronto. This past Summer, she made her debut at England's Garsington Opera Festival as Zerlina in Don Giovanni, also produced in Paris this Autumn. Ms. Asselin has sung with the Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Early Music Festival and the orchestras of Minnesota, Calgary, Edmonton and the National Symphony. Other engagements in the 2019-20 season include Messiah with Milwaukee Symphony, and appearances with the Caramoor Festival/Trinity Wall Street and the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris.
Soprano Jessica Niles, making her Carnegie Hall debut with this concert, regularly performs in concert, including Handel's Aminta e Fillide with Les Arts Florissants at the Festival Dans les Jardins de William Christie, the New York City premiere of Gavrillin's Chimes with Cantori New York at National Sawdust, and Handel's Israel in Egypt with MasterVoices at Carnegie Hall. Recent operatic roles include Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, and Adina in L'elisir d'amore. In Spring of 2020, she will perform Armida in Handel's Rinaldo at Juilliard, where she is pursuing her master's degree, and touring to Göttingen International Handel Festival in Germany and SPOT Groningen.
Mezzo-soprano Annie Rosen, whose performances have been acclaimed as "fearless," "intensely present" and possessing "a voice of exceptional liveliness and presence" (The New York Times), debuted last season as Adalgisa in Norma with Utah Opera, sang her first Suzuki in Madama Butterfly with Central City Opera, and debuted with Chicago Opera Theater in Iolanta and The Scarlet Ibis. The 2019-2020 season includes her debut live and in HD with The Metropolitan Opera as Ankhesenpaaten in Akhnaten, appearing with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, a reprise of her Adalgisa in Norma in her Calgary Opera debut, and a return to the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Wellgunde in her first complete Ring cycle.
Tenor Dashuai Chen, making his Carnegie Hall debut. A native of Shanghai, China, he is an artist diploma in opera studies student at the Juilliard School. A finalist in this year's 65th annual Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, he has performed as Don Ottavio in Mozart's Don Giovanni at the Bregenz Festival in Austria, Ferrando in Mozart's Così fan tutte at Showa University Theatre in Japan and with Daegu Opera in South Korea, Nemorino in Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore at the Teatro Duse in Bologna, and Jupiter in Legrenzi's La Divisione del Mondo at Theater Kiel in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.
Baritone Erik van Heyningen, an artist diploma in opera studies student at Juilliard, where he studies with William Burden. In the Summer of 2019, he was featured in a new production of Salome at the Spoleto Festival, and appeared as Fernando in La gazza ladra with Teatro Nuovo. In 2020, he'll perform Escamillo in Carmen with Pacific Opera Victoria, and Sprecher in die Zauberflöte with Santa Fe Opera.
Tickets for the December 14 concert range from $25 to $90, and can be purchased online at http://ceciliachorusny.org/tickets.
Founded in 1906, The Cecilia Chorus of New York, winner of the ASCAP/Chorus America Alice Parker Award, has evolved into one of the finest avocational performing arts organizations in New York City. The 150-voice chorus has been described as "reliably venturesome" (The New Yorker, 2017) and "admirable," (New York Times, 2017). Recent highlights have included commissions from The Brothers Balliett, Jonathan Breit, Tom Cipullo, and Raphael Fusco; collaborations with actor Stephen Spinella and opera singers Julia Bullock and Ryan Speedo Green; the New York premieres in Carnegie Hall of the Mass in D and The Prison by Dame Ethel Smyth and the World Premiere of Fifty Trillion Molecular Geniuses by The Brothers Balliett. Much more at http://ceciliachorusny.org/.
Mark Shapiro was appointed the seventh Music Director of The Cecilia Chorus of New York in 2011. Music Director of The Prince Edward Island Symphony and Artistic Director of Cantori New York, he is one of a handful of artistic leaders in North America to have won a prestigious ASCAP Programming Award six times, achieving the unique distinction of winning such an award with three different ensembles. The New York Times has characterized his conducting as "insightful" and acknowledged its "virtuosity and assurance," and "uncommon polish." The Star-Ledger calls his artistic leadership "erudite and far-reaching." Bio at http://www.ceciliachorusny.org/music-director-mark-shapiro/.