Hartford Symphony and Hartford Chorale to Perform Handel’s Messiah December 7 at the Bushnell

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The Hartford Symphony Orchestra and Hartford Chorale in performance at Mortensen Hall at The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts. (photo credit: Dan Burns)

The Hartford Symphony Orchestra and Hartford Chorale in performance at Mortensen Hall at The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts. (photo credit: Dan Burns)

Featured Soloists to Include Rochelle Bard, Daniella Mack, Matthew Grills, and Lester Lynch

HARTFORD, November 26, 2013 – The Hartford Symphony Orchestra and Hartford Chorale will come together to perform one of the most famous choral works ever written – Handel’s Messiah – on Saturday, December 7, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. in Mortensen Hall at The Bushnell Center for The Performing Arts.  Led by HSO Music Director Carolyn Kuan, this performance will feature guest soloists Rochelle Bard, Daniella Mack, Matthew Grills, and Lester Lynch.

Handel wrote the 259-page musical score to Messiah over the course of only 24 days. Despite its rapid creation, this work has endured as one of the greatest pieces for chorus and orchestra of all time. This holiday performance will feature arias and choruses from the oratorio, including the cherished “Comfort Ye” tenor solo, dynamic “Rejoice Greatly” soprano solo, and powerful choruses including “For Unto Us a Child is Born” and, of course, the “Hallelujah” chorus.

Celebrating its 42nd season in 2013-2014, the Hartford Chorale has, through the years, become greater Hartford’s primary symphonic chorus, especially in its critically acclaimed collaborations with the Hartford, New Haven, New Britain and Hartt School Symphonies. Established in 1972 by founding director Henley Denmead, and under the musical direction of Maestro Richard Coffey since 2005, the chorale reaches out to and inspires the widest possible audience with exceptional performances of a broad range of choral literature, including the renowned choral masterpieces.

Soprano Rochelle Bard was awarded First Place and Audience Choice in the Classical Singer Competition and Second Place in the Gerda Lissner Foundation Competition. She was a winner in the George London Competition, the Metropolitan Opera National Council Awards in San Francisco and Boston, and the Licia Albanese-Puccini Competition. Subsequently, she had her Lincoln Center debut in Alice Tully Hall at the annual Puccini Gala, and in Carnegie Hall for the Gerda Lissner Winners Concert. Ms. Bard resides in West Hartford.

Mezzo-soprano Daniella Mack was recently a finalist in the 2013 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition.  In the 2013 – 2014 season, Daniela Mack will return to San Francisco Opera as Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia; make her Santa Fe Opera debut in a new production by Stephen Lawless; debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago as the Kitchen Boy in Rusalka and returns to Madison Opera as Sister Helen Prejean in Dead Man Walking.

Tenor Matthew Grills is a 2012 grand prize winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.  He joins the Bayerische Staatsoper as a member of its prestigious Opernstudio in the 2013-14 season and made his debut with the company in the autumn as an Apprentice in Wozzeck. He also returns to San Francisco Opera as Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia. Last season, he sang his first performances of Fenton in Falstaff with Wolf Trap Opera and joined San Francisco Opera for Les contes d’Hoffmann and Così fan tutte. As a Resident Artist with Portland Opera, he will sing Goffredo in Rinaldo and Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni. Hartford fans may recognize Grills’ voice; he is a former employee of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra Box Office, where he worked as a ticket representative for the Talcott Mountain Music Festival.

Recognized for his charismatic portrayals and commanding voice, Lester Lynch’s engagements during the 2013 – 2014 season include Amonasro in Aida with Pittsburgh Opera, Crown in Porgy and Bess with L’Opera de Montreal, Lescaut in Manon Lescaut in Baden-Baden, as well as concert engagements with the Berlin Philharmonic for Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder under the baton of Simon Rattle and the Bayerische Rundfunkorchester for Gordon Gett’s Joan and the Bells. During the previous season he portrayed Crown in Porgy and Bess with the Berlin Philharmonic, Amonasro in Aida with the Dallas Opera and joined the San Antonio Symphony for Verdi’s Requiem.

Calendar Listing:
HSO SPECIAL EVENT: HANDEL’S MESSIAH
Featuring Carolyn Kuan, conductor; Hartford Chorale, Richard Coffey, music director; Rochelle Bard, soprano; Daniela Mack, mezzo soprano; Matthew Grills, tenor; Lester Lynch, bass-baritone
Saturday, December 7, 2013 ? 7:30 p.m.
Mortensen Hall ? The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts
Ticket Information: Tickets range in price from $20-$67.50.  Student tickets are $10 and $25 tickets are available for patrons age 40 and under. To purchase tickets or for more information, please contact HSO ticket services at (860) 244-2999 or visit www.hartfordsymphony.org.

Generous support for the Hartford Symphony Orchestra is provided by the Greater Hartford Arts Council, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, and with support from the Department of Economic and Community Development, Connecticut Office of the Arts which also receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.