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Newport Classical Announces Two Holiday Programs

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Programs include Messiah At The Mansion and Holiday With Ensemble Altera.

Newport Classical Announces Two Holiday Programs

Continuing its new commitment to ongoing year-round programming, Newport Classical, which recently changed its name from Newport Music Festival, announces two holiday programs this December - Newport Classical Holiday with Ensemble Altera at Emmanuel Church Chapel (42 Dearborn St.) on Friday, December 3 at 7:30pm and Saturday, December 4 at 2:30pm; and Handel's iconic Messiah at the Mansion at Rosecliff (548 Bellevue Ave.) on Sunday, December 12 at 4:00pm and 6:30pm. Tickets will go on sale on October 25 at www.newportclassical.org. The organization's new name better reflects its 53-year history of embracing the timelessness of classical music, as well as its current mission of looking toward the future and celebrating the diversity of expression within the artform through year-round programming.

On December 3 and 4, up-and-coming, Providence-based chamber choir Ensemble Altera presents a beautiful program for voices, harp, and organ. The program, sung entirely by women and led by the group's director and countertenor Christopher Lowrey, centers on Benjamin Britten's beloved holiday favorite Ceremony of Carols, alongside works by five female composers including mediaeval polymath and mystic Hildegard von Bingen; 17th-century virtuoso singer and composer Barbara Strozzi; 20th century British composer and conductor Imogen Holst; composer, writer, pianist, and collector of folksongs Elizabeth Poston; and Joanna Marsh, one of the most exciting living choral composers of today.

On December 12, Newport Classical presents a one-hour performance of the Christmas section of Handel's oratorio Messiah, including the Hallelujah Chorus, featuring the Professional Choristers of The Choir School of Newport County, Brown University Chorus, and Providence Baroque Orchestra performing on period instruments. The magnificent Rosecliff mansion is the location for this unforgettable holiday experience.

"We are so happy to be collaborating with The Choir School of Newport County, Brown University Chorus, and Providence Baroque Orchestra as well as The Preservation Society to bring such a special musical experience to Newport for the holidays," says Newport Classical Executive Director Gillian Friedman Fox. "Projects of this nature show the value of community partnership and we hope this concert becomes an annual tradition."

Peter Berton, founding Executive Director of The Choir School of Newport County, adds, "Fred Jodry (Brown University) and I are so looking forward to this merry Newport offering of Messiah with early instruments and young voices, much the way Handel would have heard it performed in his day, in a gorgeous period setting. We are enormously grateful to Newport Classical for supporting this collaboration and bringing it to Newport at the peak of the season."

"I always find that the best way to celebrate the holiday season is through the beauty of choral music," says Newport Classical Director of Artistic Planning and Engagement Trevor Neal of Ensemble Altera's performances. "Ensemble Altera's imaginative programming highlights the contributions of women to the music of this season, led by the group's director and countertenor, Christopher Lowrey. Newport Classical is pleased to present this truly exceptional emerging ensemble to the Newport community - this is certainly a must-do on every family's holiday activity list."


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