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Thursday March 9, 2023

Minnesota Chorale and Vocal Soloists to Join Minnesota Orchestra for Performances of Haydn’s “The Creation”

Guest conductor Paul McCreesh takes the podium for the epic performances, which feature vocalists Joélle Harvey, Robert Murray and Kevin Deas

Now in its sixth decade of performing choral music in the Twin Cities, the Minnesota Chorale will take the stage with the Minnesota Orchestra for a performance of Franz Joseph Haydn's most celebrated oratorio, The Creation. Written at the end of the 18th century, the work musically depicts the creation of the world as interpreted in the Bible's Book of Genesis and runs two hours.

The program will be performed at Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis on Thursday, March 30, at 11 a.m., Friday, March 31, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, April 1, at 8 p.m., with ticket prices ranging from $30 to $99. Free tickets are available for young listeners under the age of 18, thanks to the Orchestra’s Hall Pass program. For more information, visit minnesotaorchestra.org/hallpass. The Friday night performance will be broadcast live on stations of YourClassical Minnesota Public Radio.

First performed by the Minnesota Orchestra in 1905, The Creation received its most recent presentation at Orchestra Hall in 1999. In these concerts, the ensemble will be led by English conductor Paul McCreesh, who himself last conducted the Orchestra more than two decades ago. The performances will be sung using McCreesh’s version of the English libretto, in a translation of Haydn’s original German text that the conductor compiled and edited. His 2008 recording of The Creation earned McCreesh and his Gabrieli Consort & Players a Gramophone Award for best choral recording.

The 200 singers of the Minnesota Chorale, the Minnesota Orchestra’s principal chorus since 2004, will be joined onstage by three vocal soloists. American soprano Joélle Harvey and English tenor Robert Murray will make their debuts at Orchestra Hall in these performances; American bass-baritone Kevin Deas has appeared with the Minnesota Orchestra twice previously, mostly recently in 2018.


About Minnesota Chorale

The Minnesota Chorale has sung with the Minnesota Chorale for four decades, with the full Chorale most recently performing and recording Gustav Mahler's Eighth Symphony in June 2022, and the Chorale's women performing and recording Mahler's Third Symphony in November 2022; both collaborations were under Osmo Vänskä's direction. It will collaborate with the Orchestra again in May 2023 for the world premiere of brea(d)th by Carlos Simon with libretto by Marc Bamuthi Joseph. This season the Chorale marked its 50th anniversary with a special concert featuring its family of choirs and continued its Bridges program in a joint concert with Border CrosSing, among other programs.

Founded in 1972 and led since 1995 by artistic director Kathy Saltzman Romey, the Chorale is Minnesota’s preeminent symphonic chorus and ranks among the foremost professional choruses in the United States. Among the Chorale’s multi-generational initiatives are the acclaimed Bridges community engagement program, the Minneapolis Youth Chorus and Prelude Children’s Choir, the Voices of Experience choir for older adults, Side By Side for high-school tenors and basses, InChoir open rehearsals and a program for emerging conductors. More: mnchorale.org.

About Paul McCreesh

English conductor Paul McCreesh, who is renowned for the energy and passion of his music-making, is the founder and artistic director of the Gabrieli Consort & Players, with which he has won many awards and toured globally since establishing the ensemble in 1982. He has conducted major orchestras, choirs and opera companies worldwide, from the Leipzig Gewandhaus to the Teatro Real Madrid, and last visited the Minnesota Orchestra in 2001, when he led George Frideric Handel’s Messiah. Earlier this season he conducted Messiah with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, with which he enjoys regular collaborations; elsewhere in 2022-23 he leads the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and joins forces with Filharmonia Poznanska.

McCreesh is especially enthusiastic about working with young musicians, broadening access to classical music and building new educational initiatives. He is a former principal conductor and artistic adviser of the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon and served for six seasons as artistic director of the International Festival Wratislava Cantans in Wrocław, Poland. In 2011, he launched his own record label, Winged Lion, building on his large catalog of recordings with Deutsche Grammophon. More: rayfieldallied.com.

About Joélle Harvey

American soprano Joélle Harvey’s 2022-23 season brings appearances with a host of internationally-acclaimed organizations. She returns to the Metropolitan Opera as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte and to the Glyndebourne Festival for the title role in Semele. She also performs Mahler’s Second Symphony with the Cincinnati Symphony, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with the New York Philharmonic, Schubert’s Mass in E-flat with the Cleveland Orchestra, Handel’s Solomon with the Deutsches Symphony-Orchester and Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Chicago Symphony. More: fletcherartists.com.

About Robert Murray

English tenor Robert Murray has performed principal roles with the Royal Opera House, Hamburg State Opera, English National Opera, Beijing Music Festival and the English and Salzberg festivals, among other companies and festivals. In the 2022-23 season he debuts with the Teatro alla Scala Milan in Thomas Adès’ The Tempest, and with Theater an der Wien in the title role of Handel’s Belshazzar. He also returns to English National Opera and Garsington Opera, and appears in concert with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Academy of Ancient Music. More: intermusica.com.

About Kevin Deas

Kevin Deas has gained international renown as one of America’s leading bass-baritones. He is perhaps most acclaimed for his signature portrayal as Porgy in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, having performed it with the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and Pacific Symphony, as well as other illustrious North American orchestras and at the Ravinia, Vail and Saratoga festivals. Highlights of his recent schedule include performances of Mozart’s Requiem with the Florida Orchestra and Handel’s Messiah with the National Cathedral, Boston Baroque and New York Philharmonic. More: dispeker.com.


Minnesota Orchestra Classical Concerts



Thursday, March 30, 2023, 11 a.m. / Orchestra Hall

Friday, March 31, 2023, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall*

Saturday, April 1, 2023, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall


Minnesota Orchestra

Minnesota Chorale

Paul McCreesh, conductor

Joélle Harvey, soprano

Robert Murray, tenor

Kevin Deas, bass-baritone


HAYDN                                   The Creation


Tickets: $30 to $99 [Free tickets available for young listeners under age 18, thanks to the Hall Pass program.]

* The Friday night performance will be broadcast live on stations of YourClassical Minnesota Public Radio, including KSJN 99.5 FM in the Twin Cities.



Tickets and subscription packages can be purchased now at minnesotaorchestra.org or by calling 612-371-5656. For groups of 10 or more, call 612-371-5662.

The Hall Pass program makes free tickets available for young listeners ages 6 to 18 for select Classical and Symphony in 60 concerts, and all kids under 18 for Family concerts. This program is sponsored by Cynthia and Jay Ihlenfeld. For more information, visit minnesotaorchestra.org/hallpass.

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.

Details around COVID safety protocols can be found at minnesotaorchestra.org/safety.

All programs, artists, dates, times and prices subject to change.


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