Mercury to Celebrate the Season with VIVALDI'S GLORIA

Artistic Director Antoine Plante and Mercury bring VIVALDI'S GLORIA to the Wortham Center's Cullen Theater on December 10 at 8 p.m. in a festive Baroque program.


Joined by soloists Teresa Wakim (soprano), Abigail Fischer (mezzo-soprano) and members of the Houston Symphony Chorus under director Betsy Cook Weber, the ensemble performs one of music's most uplifting choral works - full of high drama and musical fireworks. Experience this dazzling work paired with Vivaldi's Lauda Jerusalem (Psalm 147), RV 609, and Concerto for Sopranino Recorder in C major, RV 443, in a perfect concert for the holiday season.

Praised for her "bejeweled lyric soprano" (The Boston Globe), as "a marvel of perfect intonation and pure tone" (New York Arts), and with a voice of "extraordinary suppleness and beauty" (The New York Times), soprano Teresa Wakim was First Prize Winner of the 2010 International Soloist Competition for Early Music in Brunnenthal, Austria. Noted solo engagements include Bach's Mass in B Minor, St. John Passion, and Magnificat with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Bach's Wedding Cantata and Mendelssohn's "Hear My Prayer" with the Cleveland Orchestra, Bach's Missa Brevis with the San Francisco Symphony, Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610 with Boston Baroque, and Bach's Magnificat with Wiener Akademie Orchester. Wakim performs with many of North America's top early music ensembles, including Mercury Chamber Orchestra, Apollo's Fire, and Vancouver Early Music. She has portrayed and recorded multiple operas by Charpentier and Lully with the Boston Early Music Festival, including the roles of Flore, Aréthuse, and Daphne on their GRAMMY-winning recording of La Descente d'Orphée aux Enfers and La Couronne de Fleurs.

Mezzo-soprano Abigail Fischer's creation of Isabelle Eberhardt in Missy Mazzoli's Song from the Uproar prompted critics to hail her as "riveting" (New York Times) and "a mighty operatic heroine" (Los Angeles Times). Fischer's engagements in the 2016-17 season include reprising Isabelle Eberhardt with Beth Morrison Projects (Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum); soloist in Hosokawa's The Raven (Fondazione Haydn di Bolzano e Trento); Messiah (Duke Chapel Choir and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra); Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass and Duruflé's Requiem (New York Choral Society, Carnegie Hall); and a recital (Resonant Bodies Festival). Her operatic highlights include Lucretia in The Rape of Lucretia (Opera Memphis), and a double bill of Monteverdi's Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda and Beecher's I Have No Stories to Tell You (Gotham Chamber Opera). She can be heard as Franny in Ince's Judgment of Midas, and as soloist in Muhly's Mothertongue.

Dr. Betsy Cook Weber is Director of the Houston Symphony Chorus and Professor of Music and Director of Choral Studies at the University of Houston's Moores School of Music. She is also highly active internationally as a conductor, clinician, adjudicator, and lecturer. In the summer of 2013, Weber became the 13th person and 1st woman to receive the Texas Choral Director Association's coveted Texas Choirmaster Award. Under Weber's leadership, The Moores School Concert Chorale has established a reputation as one of the world's finest collegiate choirs. She has prepared singers for Da Camera and Ars Lyrica, and is also routinely called upon to prepare singers for touring shows, including Josh Groban, NBC's Clash of the Choirs, Telemundo's Latin Grammy's, and Star Wars in Concert. Educated at the University of North Texas, Westminster Choir College (Princeton, NJ) and the University of Houston, Weber served seven years as Assistant and, later, Associate Director of the Houston Symphony Chorus, helping prepare major works for renowned conductors including Robert Shaw, Christoph Eschenbach, Roger Wagner, Nicholas McKegan, and Christopher Seaman. Weber previously worked with Mercury in 2015-16 for Handel's Complete Messiah and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and will rejoin the orchestra in May to prepare the chorus for the season finale, Mozart's Requiem.

Founded in 2000, Mercury has a mission to serve the community by celebrating the power of music, Baroque and beyond, teaching, sharing and performing with passion, intimacy and excellence. The orchestra offers performances of a broad repertoire of music on period instruments and has garnered critical acclaim around the world through innovative and accessible performances, domestic and international tours, and groundbreaking music education programs.

To purchase tickets or for more information visit mercuryhouston.org or call 713-533-0080.



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