Minnesota Orchestra performs Handel’s Messiah at Orchestra Hall on Dec. 9 and 10; Douglas Boyd conducts; four vocal soloists and Minnesota Chorale join the Orchestra
The Minnesota Orchestra continues its Holiday season with performances of Handel’s beloved oratorio Messiah. Preserving one of the Orchestra’s most treasured holiday traditions, performances of the oratorio occur on December 9 and 10, under conductor Douglas Boyd, along with the Minnesota Chorale and four accomplished vocal soloists. The Minnesota Orchestra first performed Handel’s Messiah on Christmas Day in 1903, just seven weeks after its inaugural concert. It has presented the work in each full concert season since 1968.
These performances take place on Friday, December 9, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, December 10, at 8 p.m., at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis. Tickets range in price from $25 to $70. Subscription packages and individual tickets for all 2016-17 season concerts are available at minnesotaorchestra.org and by phone at 612-371-5656. For further purchasing details, refer to the information section at the conclusion of this press release.
Handel wrote Messiah for a series of charity concerts in Dublin in April 1742. Although the work was originally composed for the Easter season, it has become a Christmas icon and one of the most popular choral and orchestral works of all time. Several passages have attained worldwide fame, including the “Hallelujah” chorus—which allegedly prompted King George II of England to rise to his feet during a 1743 performance—and “For unto us a child is born.”
Douglas Boyd, conductor
Douglas Boyd, familiar to Minnesota audiences for his tenure as an artistic partner of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, is currently artistic director of Garsington Opera in England and music director of l'Orchestre de Chambre de Paris. In recent years he has held positions including chief conductor of the Musikkollegium Winterthur, music director of the Manchester Camerata and principal guest conductor of the City of London Sinfonia. In the U.S. he has conducted Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the Baltimore, Colorado, Dallas, Detroit and Indianapolis symphony orchestras. Abroad he has led all the BBC Orchestras; the Bournemouth, Budapest Festival and Royal Scottish National Orchestras; and the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, Orchestre National de Lyon, Tonhalle Orchestre Zurich and Swedish Chamber Orchestra. More: franksalomon.com, douglasboyd.co.uk.
Two soloists make their Minnesota Orchestra debuts in these concerts. Mireille Asselin joined the Metropolitan Opera during the 2013-14 season, where she performed her debut role as Poussette in Manon in 2015, and covered the role of Adele in Die Fledermaus, conducted by James Levine. Maryland native Sofia Selowsky is a recent graduate of the famed Houston Grand Opera Studio, where she was featured in many productions and made her debut with the Houston Grand Opera as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly.
Returning to Orchestra Hall are tenor Thomas Cooley and baritone Philip Cutlip. Cooley first performed with the Minnesota Orchestra in 2004 and has returned several times since to sing Handel’s Messiah. Cutlip last appeared with the Minnesota Orchestra as Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus in the finale of Sommerfest 2014. Local audiences have also heard him in performances with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and Minnesota Opera.
The Minnesota Chorale
The Minnesota Chorale, the Minnesota Orchestra’s principal chorus since 2004, is now in its 22nd season under the leadership of Kathy Saltzman Romey. Founded in 1972, the Chorale is the state’s preeminent symphonic chorus, performing regularly with both this Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. More: mnchorale.org.
Douglas Boyd, conductor
Mireille Asselin, soprano
Sofia Selowsky, mezzo
Thomas Cooley, tenor
Philip Cutlip, baritone
Minnesota Chorale, chorus
TICKET PURCHASING INFORMATION
Subscription packages and individual tickets can be purchased online at minnesotaorchestra.org, or by calling 612-371-5656 (612-371-5642 for subscriptions) or 800-292-4141. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Orchestra Hall Box Office, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis (open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and beginning two hours before all ticketed performances); and at the Minnesota Orchestra Administrative Office, International Centre, 5th floor, 920 Second Avenue South, Minneapolis (open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). For more information, call 612-371-5656, or visit minnesotaorchestra.org. For subscriptions, call 612-371-5642 or visit minnesotaorchestra.org/subscribe. For groups of 10 or more, call 612-371-5662.
All programs, artists, dates, times and prices subject to change.
The Star Tribune is the Minnesota Orchestra’s media partner for the 2016-17 season.
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
# # #
Gwen Pappas, Director of Public Relations
Emma Plehal, Public Relations Writer and Coordinator