Compelling Requiem Presented by Worcester Chorus - A Music Review
by Joyce Tamer for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette
*Please Note: Due to illness baritone David Kravitz replaced Stephan Barnicle for this performance. Mr. Kravitz has been hailed for his "large, multi-layered," and "exceedingly expressive" voice, his "deeply considered acting," and his "deep understanding of the text." Recently The New York Times described him as "a charismatic baritone" and praised his "vividly etched and satisfying interpretation," and Opera News declared him "magnificently stentorian and resonant." A full bio may be viewed at DavidKravitz.com.
The Worcester Chorus, under the direction of Dr. Christopher Shepard, performance of Poulenc's Gloria and Mozart's Requiem, with orchestra and soloists.
Mozart's Requiem is his final composition and was made famous in the 1984 historical fiction film Amadeus.
About the soloists:
Esther was raised on a small dairy farm in Wisconsin, and was involved in band, choir and church music from a young age, but never took a serious voice lesson until she was 19. Originally attending the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire to become a music teacher, it was there that she discovered her true passion for singing and has dedicated her life to it ever since.
Ms. Heideman's career began with her Carnegie Hall debut, singing Handel’s Messiah. Since this time, she has performed with major orchestras throughout the world such as the Baltimore Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Philadelphia Pops, Daejeon Philharmonic Orchestra, Beijing New Music Ensemble, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival, Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Jacksonville Symphony, National Philharmonic, Buffalo Philharmonic, Milwaukee Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Boston Baroque, Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra, Orquestra del Gran Teatre del Liceu, and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra.
Pamela Dellal, mezzo-soprano, is an acclaimed soloist and recitalist whose singing has been praised for her "exquisite vocal color," "musical sensitivity," (Worcester Gazette) and "eloquent phrasing" (The Boston Globe). Her repertoire encompasses an astonishing range from 12th-century monody through Renaissance songs, Baroque cantatas and oratorios, 18th–21st century art songs and operas, and premieres of new works. She was entrusted with the premiere of a new John Harbison work, The Seven Ages, and performed the work in New York, San Francisco, Boston and London.
Ms. Dellal made her Kennedy Center debut under Julian Wachner in the B-minor Mass, and her Lincoln Center debut under renowned conductor William Christie in Messiah. She has performed under other acclaimed conductors such as Seiji Ozawa, Christopher Hogwood, Paul McCreesh, Bernard Labadie and Roger Norrington. Ms. Dellal has also appeared with the Tokyo Oratorio Society, the Lydian String Quartet, The Bach Choir of Bethlehem, Boston Baroque, the Boston Early Music Festival, Aston Magna, the Dallas Bach Society, The Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, the National Chamber Orchestra, the Evansville Philharmonic, the Baltimore Choral Arts Society and the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Dellal has received critical acclaim for performances of Brahms' Alto Rhapsody, Handel's Messiah, Mozart's C-minor Mass, and Bach's B-minor Mass, St. Matthew and St. John Passions. Her operatic roles include Dido in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, Sesto in Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito, Dorabella in Mozart's Così Fan Tutte, Bradamante in Alcina, Erika in Barber’s Vanessa, Lucretia in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, and Paulina in Harbison's Winter's Tale. She has been a featured artist with the The Red House Opera Group, Prism Opera Company, Opera Aperta, Ocean State Lyric Opera, the New Boston Theatre Project, and the Opera Company of Boston, and has appeared in concert in major cities in Europe, the United States, Australia and Japan.
Ryan Turner, now in his fifth year as Artistic Director of Emmanuel Music, brings both talent and heart to his music-making as a conductor, a programmer, and singer. Praising his most recent performance of John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby, critics described him as “a thinking man’s conductor” and remarked on his, “Supple, even liquid shaping of phrase, impeccable technique and truly refreshing communication of the intimacy of ensemble playing.”
Born in 1972 and raised in El Paso, Texas, Mr. Turner attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He arrived in Boston in 1995 to continue his studies at the Boston Conservatory. He joined Emmanuel Music in 1997 as a tenor soloist and chorus member, making his debut as a guest conductor in 2006. Since his appointment as Artistic Director, Mr. Turner has programmed and conducted over one hundred fifty Bach cantatas, the Bach St John Passion, B Minor Mass and Christmas Oratorio, and major works and operas by Stravinsky, Mozart, Handel, and John Harbison. A champion of new music, Ryan Turner has programmed and premiered the works of composers John Harbison, James Primosch, Brett Johnson, and Ben Hogue.
Stephan P. Barnicle, a Worcester native, taught choruses, orchestra and music technology in Connecticut High Schools from 1970 to 2004 when he retired and moved to Fayetteville, NC where he served as Director of Music Ministry at St. Patrick Catholic Church and the Artistic Director of the CANTATE Chamber Choir and the St. Patrick Music for Charity concert series for nine years.
Raised as a chorister in the St. Paul’s Cathedral Boys’ Choir, he has held a variety of positions as a church musician for 59 years. He began teaching Recorder to the younger boys in the Cathedral Choir School while still in high school, and has continued to teach and to play ever since that time.
Mr. Barnicle has appeared as guest solo and conductor throughout the U.S. and in Europe. His compositions and arrangements are often programmed by all-state and festival choirs here and abroad, including the Worcester Chorus in 2011. He was the Music Director of the Visit Canada International Polychoral Festival in Montreal and Quebec for a decade.