CSO To Perform Handel's MESSIAH In Its Entirety

CSO To Perform Handel's MESSIAH In Its EntiretyCSO Music Director Rossen Milanov leads the Columbus Symphony, guest soprano Alexandra Razskazoff, guest mezzo-soprano Siena Licht Miller, guest tenor Jonas Marcel Hacker, guest bass-baritone Andrew Bogard, and the Columbus Symphony Chorus in an unforgettable performance of Handel's deeply spiritual oratorio, Messiah. The work will be performed in its entirety and is the first time the Columbus Symphony has done so since 2010.

The Columbus Symphony presents the Handel: Messiah at the Ohio Theatre (39 E. State St.) on Friday and Saturday, November 9 and 10, at 8pm. Tickets start at $10 and can be purchased at the CAPA Ticket Center (39 E. State St.), all Ticketmaster outlets, and www.ticketmaster.com. To purchase tickets by phone, please call (614) 469-0939 or (800) 745-3000. The CAPA Ticket Center will also be open two hours prior to each performance.

Prelude - Patrons are invited to join Christopher Purdy in the theatre at 7pm for a 30-minute, pre-concert discussion about the works to be performed.

Postlude - Directly following the performance, patrons are invited to stay in the auditorium and enjoy a talk back with Maestro Milanov and Chorus Director Ronald Jenkins.

Respected and admired by audiences and musicians alike, Rossen Milanov is currently the music director of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra (CSO), Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Princeton Symphony Orchestra, and the Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias (OSPA) in Spain.

In 2017, Milanov received an Arts Prize from The Columbus Foundation for presenting Beethoven's Ninth Symphony as part of CSO's 2017 Picnic with the Pops summer series. Under his leadership, the organization has expanded its reach by connecting original programming with community-wide initiatives, such as focusing on women composers and nature conservancy, presenting original festivals, and supporting and commissioning new music.

Milanov has collaborated with some of the world's preeminent artists, including Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, Midori, Christian Tetzlaff, and André Watts. During his 11-year tenure with The Philadelphia Orchestra, he conducted more than 200 performances. In 2015, he completed a 15-year tenure as music director of nationally recognized training orchestra Symphony in C in New Jersey. In 2013, he wrapped up a 17-year tenure with the New Symphony Orchestra in his native city of Sofia, Bulgaria. His passion for new music has resulted in numerous world premieres of works by composers such as Derek Bermel, Mason Bates, Caroline Shaw, Phillip Glass, Richard Danielpour, Nicolas Maw, and Gabriel Prokofiev, among others.

Noted for his versatility, Milanov is also a welcomed presence in the worlds of opera and ballet. He has collaborated with Komische Oper Berlin for Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of Mtzensk), Opera Oviedo for the Spanish premiere of Tchaikovsky's Mazzepa and Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle (awarded best Spanish production for 2015), and Opera Columbus for Verdi's La Traviata.

An experienced ballet conductor, he has been seen at New York City Ballet and collaborated with some of the best-known choreographers of our time, such Mats Ek, Benjamin Millepied, and most recently, Alexei Ratmansky in the critically acclaimed revival of Swan Lake in Zurich with the Zurich Ballet, and in Paris with La Scala Ballet.

The Columbus Symphony Chorus, now beginning its 59th season, continues to excel under the direction of Chorus Director Ronald J. Jenkins. Under his leadership for 35 years, the Chorus has grown both in the quality of its performances and in the diversity of its classical repertoire. The 130-member Chorus, comprised entirely of volunteer singers from central Ohio, performs major works from Bach through the 21st century. In addition to their classical concerts, the Chorus's annual Holiday Pops concerts, conceived and directed by Jenkins from their beginning in 1983, have grown into one of the best-loved musical traditions in the central Ohio area, presenting four performances the first weekend of December.

Minnesotan soprano Alexandra Razskazoff, acclaimed by the New York Times as a "richly faceted, slinky soprano" whose voice is "...ample in size with an intriguing instrumental color," (Opera News) is gaining recognition for her versatile and compelling performances on the operatic stage and in the concert hall. In the 2017-18 season, Razskazoff was a resident artist at The Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, where she reprised the role of Wellgunde (Das Rheingold), and portrayed Echo (Ariadne auf Naxos) and Violetta (La Traviata). In 2016-17, she was a resident artist with the Minnesota Opera where she sang Wellgunde (Das Rheingold), Britomarte (Martín y Soler: L'Arbore di Diana), Miss Alden in William Bolcom and Mark Campbell's world premiere of Dinner at Eight, and Musetta (La bohème), while covering Juliette (Romèo et Juliette). In spring of 2016, Razskazoff sang Mendelssohn's Elijah with the Hudson Chorale, and will sing her first Messiah with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra in November 2018. www.AlexandraRazskazoffSoprano.com

German-American mezzo-soprano Siena Licht Miller's versatile operatic career-she has sung roles by John Adams, Britten, Ravel, Mozart, and Puccini-is coupled with noteworthy performances on concert and recital stages. A 2016 Marilyn Horne Rubin Scholar, she has sung in master classes led by Ms. Horne, Renée Fleming, and Plácido Domingo. Highlights for the 2018-19 season include the title role in Dido and Aenaes, Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Oregon Symphony, and a recital with the Carnegie Hall Citywide Concert Series, which she will take on tour to the UK and Germany.

A 2016 Grand Finalist of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, tenor Jonas Hacker regularly receives high praise for his "attractive tenor voice" and his ability to convincingly portray characters across genres from Mozart to Glass. In the 2017-18 season, Hacker makes his Lyric Opera of Chicago debut as Timothy Laughlin in Gregory Spears' Fellow Travelers and made his Opera San Jose debut in Cinderella, an opera by Alma Deutscher, the fast rising 12-year-old British prodigy. Hacker opened the season returning to Annapolis Opera as Theodore "Laurie" Lawrence in Little Women, the company with whom he made his professional debut in 2015 as Ferrando in Così fan tutte. Hacker also returned to Washington Concert Opera, where he was heard in the role of Osburgo in Bellini's La straniera. Over the summer, he joined the prestigious Mozart Residency at Festival d'Aix-en-Provence. www.JonasHackerTenor.com

Bogard hails from central Ohio and holds his Master of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music and a Bachelor of Music degree from The Juilliard School. This season, he joins the ensemble of Oper Stuttgart as Schaunard in La bohème, Yamadori in Madama Butterfly, Peter Schlemihl in The Tales of Hoffmann, Third Nobleman in Lohengrin, and Fourth Jew in Salome. Bogard won first place in the 2014 Mario Lanza Scholarship Competition, second place and audience choice in the 2015 Cooper-Bing Opera Columbus Competition, and was a Mid-Atlantic regional finalist and encouragement award recipient in the 2015 MET Competition. www.AndrewBogard.com

Handel was a German, later British, Baroque composer who spent the bulk of his career in London, becoming well-known for his operas, oratorios, anthems, and organ concertos. He received important training in Halle-upon-Saale and worked as a composer in Hamburg and Italy before settling in London in 1712, becoming a naturalized British subject in 1727. Handel was strongly influenced by the great composers of the Italian Baroque and the middle-German polyphonic choral tradition.

Messiah (HWV 56) was composed by Handel in 1741. It is an English-language oratorio with a scriptural text compiled by Charles Jennens from the King James Bible, and the version of "Psalms" included with the Book of Common Prayer. It was first performed in Dublin on April 13, 1742 and received its London premiere nearly a year later. After an initially modest public reception, it gained popularity and eventually became one of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works in Western music. Although its resembles opera in structure, there are no characters and no direct speech. Instead, the text is an extended reflection on Jesus as the Messiah called Christ.


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