Saturday, December 3, 2016 - 8:00 pm - Mechanics Hall
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"The sinewy strengths of the Worcester Chorus were on full display - crisp attacks, niftily abrupt silences, clear articulation and gorgeous swelling sound..." - John Zeugner
"When you put in all the work it's no longer about yourself, it's about connecting the beauty for the audience. It's for them." - Karen Driscoll, Soprano
THIS DECEMBER, THE WORCESTER CHORUS HAS THE OPPORTUNITY TO RECORD ITS FLAGSHIP, ANNUAL PERFORMANCE OF MESSIAH AND HAVE IT BROADCAST BY CHARTER TV.
A holiday tradition for over 100 years, the annual Messiah presentation by The Worcester Chorus of Music Worcester serves as the start of the holiday season for so many of our supporters. Chris Shepard will again lead the Chorus in Handel's best-known work.
"In short, everyone contributed to this enjoyable performance, a tribute, not only to Handel's genius, but to the excellence of the evening's performers, particularly the members of the Worcester Chorus and their estimable director, Chris Shepard."—Joyce Tamer on the 2015 Messiah performance, Worcester Telegram & Gazette
Meet the 2016 Messiah soloists:
Karen Driscoll has extensive experience on both the opera and concert stages throughout North America. Her vast operatic repertoire includes Manon in Massenet's Manon (Florida Grand Opera, Florentine Opera), Mimi in Puccini’s La Bohème (L'Opéra de Montréal, Virginia Opera, Baltimore Opera), Tatyana in Eugene Onegin (Seattle Opera), the title role in Susannah (L'Opéra de Montréal), Juliette in Roméo et Juliette (Vancouver Opera), Pamina in Die Zauberflöte (Baltimore Opera) and Musetta in La Bohème (Seattle Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Opera Columbus, Toledo Opera and Opera Carolina). Additional roles have included Nedda in I Pagliacci (Hawaii Opera Theater), Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro (Michigan Opera Theater, Fresno Grand Opera), Micaëla in Carmen (Hawaii Opera Theater, New Jersey State Opera), and Antonia in Les Contes d'Hoffman (Palm Beach Opera). Ms. Driscoll also has sung with Long Beach Opera as Sieglinde and Gutrune in Jonathan Dove's abridged version of Wagner’s The Ring Cycle.
On the concert stage, recent engagements have included performances as Gabriel and Eve in Haydn's Creation (Masterwork Chorus), soprano soloist in Rossini’s Petite messe solennelle (The Dessoff Choirs) and as Micaëla in Carmen the Musical (Worcester Chorus). She also performed recently in the title role in Handel’s Agrippina (Operamission in New York City).
Ms. Driscoll has been a winner of many prestigious awards, most notably the Grand Prize from the Lee Schaenen Foundation and the Gilbert Artist of the Year Award from the Florida Grand Opera. She is an active concert and recital artist, and currently is an Adjunct Professor teaching voice at Montclair State University.
Timothy Parsons, countertenor and conductor, is active as both soloist and ensemble singer in New York City, having performed with the Clarion Music Society, the Saint Thomas Fifth Avenue Choir of Men & Boys, the Choir of St Ignatius Loyola. He is currently a member of the Grammy nominated Choir of Trinity Wall Street. As a soloist he has been lauded for his “authority, ease, and elegant exuberance” and his singing has been praised by the New York Times as “particularly expressive, singing with pure, free tone.” As a performer of works old & new, Timothy is conﬁdent and comfortable pushing the envelope as an interpreter.
On the subject of his recent performances of Handel’s Messiah with Trinity Wall Street, the New York Times hailed “…a more pronounced willingness to take risks. The countertenor Timothy Parsons belted out the ﬁnal words of ‘But Who May Abide’ in full, startling chest voice.” The 2016-2017 season includes international performances in Russia, the United Kingdom, Canada, Cuba, and Panama. Timothy will make appearances as soloist in Handel’s Messiah in Mechanics Hall in Worcester, Massachusetts, as soloist in Bach’s B Minor Mass in the Montreal Bach Festival, Bach’s John Passion with New York Baroque Incorporated. He will appear with the Clarion Choir in their groundbreaking tour giving the Russian Premieres of Steinberg’s Passion Week, and will return to Havana’s Musica Antigua festival.
Recent solo engagements have included Handel’s Messiah with Trinity, and with the Stamford Symphony, Bernstein’s Missa Brevis for the Sacred Music in a Sacred Space series, and frequent appearances on Trinity’s acclaimed Bach at One series, for which he was praised as an “excellent vocal soloist.” In 2015 Timothy made his debut with the PROTOTYPE Festival, performing in the world premiere of Du Yun and Royce Vavrek’s Angel’s Bone. Previous seasons have included a national tour of Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers with Apollo’s Fire, Handel’s Saul at the Twelfth Night Festival, Rachmaninov’s Vespers at the Quebec Festival with the Clarion Music Society, a concert of Bach, Pärt, and Ligeti at Bargemusic with the Knights, and the world premiere of Michael Harrison’s Tesselations with Contemporaneous. Timothy holds degrees from the Manhattan School of Music in Classical Voice Performance (BM) and Choral Conducting (MM.) He spent his formative years in historic Lexington, Massachusetts and Moultonborough, New Hampshire, and now resides in New York City.
Tenor John Tiranno has had his singing called “ardent and mellifluous” by The New York Times. Upcoming engagements include the world premiere of Gisle Kverndokk’s Upon this handful of Earth (a co-production between Sacred Music in a Sacred Space and the New York Opera Society), Beethoven’s 9th Symphony (Greenwich Village Orchestra), Handel’s Messiah (Worcester Chorus) and Haydn’s Missa Cellensis (Riverside Choral Society).
Notable past performances include Berlioz's Requiem (La Jolla Symphony & Chorus), Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 and Paul Moravec’s The Blizzard Voices (Oratorio Society of New York), Richard Strauss' Deutsche Motette (Musica Sacra), Saint-Saëns Requiem (Festival Internazionale di Musica e Arte Sacra), creating the role Trouble in Kverndokk's Max and Moritz (New York Opera Society), Bach's B minor Mass and the U.S. premiere of Juraj Filas’ Oratio Spei – Requiem (Sacred Music in a Sacred Space), Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle (The Dessoff Choirs), Handel’s Messiah (Dayton Philharmonic), and recitals at King Abdullah University of Science & Technology in Jedda, Saudi Arabia. www.johntiranno.com
Over the course of his still burgeoning career baritone Dimitrie Lazich has amassed significant credits both internationally and in the US, performing a number of leading roles. He debuted with the Pittsburgh Opera singing the role of Schaunard in LA BOHEME and most recently he returned to sing El Dancairo in CARMEN. He was praised for his “solid technique and sensitivity to the words, (along with) his excellent vocalism enhanced by a handsome presence and easy stage demeanor” as Danillo in THE MERRY WIDOW with the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh.
Mr. Lazich made his professional European debut with the Staatsoper Stuttgart in their production of DOCTOR FAUSTUS and has performed with De Nederlandse Reisopera in LA TRAVIATA. In the UK, Lazich debuted with the Dorset Opera singing Zurga in LES PÊCHEURS DE PERLES and with the Longborough Festival Opera as Escamillo in CARMEN. In the US he has performed the roles of Maximilion CANDIDE, Louis in Bolcolm’s A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE, Marco GIANNI SCHICCHI, Papageno THE MAGIC FLUTE, Three Villains THE TALES OF HOFFMAN, all with Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, the roles of Marullo RIGOLETTO, Wagner FAUST and Lakai ARIADNE AUF NAXOS with the Opera Company of Philadelphia, Erster Soldat SALOME with Cleveland Opera, Dandini LA CENERENTOLA with Skylight Opera Theater, and Laurent in Tobias Picker’s THERESE RAQUIN. With the Sarasota Opera, he performed Thomas Putnam THE CRUCIBLE, The Imperial Commissioner MADAMA BUTTERFLY, and Moralès CARMEN.
Mr. Lazich is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and The Curtis Institute of Music. Other professional training programs include the Santa Fe Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis and performing the roles Beaupertuis IL CAPPELLO DI PAGLIA DI FIRENZE, Guglielmo COSÌ FAN TUTTE, Sid ALBERT HERRING , Don Alvaro IL VIAGGIO A REIMS, Don Magnifico LA CENERENTOLA with Music Academy of the West, and Falke DIE FLEDERMAUS and Junius RAPE OF LUCRETIA with Opera Studio Nederland.