Chris Shepard returns to the Mechanics Hall stage as conductor and director of The Worcester Chorus of Music Worcester this April with a program featuring the St. Matthew Passion.
With his 1829 rediscovery of Bach's St Matthew Passion, Felix Mendelssohn kicked off a revival of Bach's music that has only gained steam over the last century. Performance materials for this work have only recently become available; the Chorus will present one of the first American performances of Mendelssohn's version of this choral masterpiece.
Read below about the vocal soloists for this performance:
American Soprano Susan Consoli has led an active and versatile career throughout the United States and abroad with repertoire ranging from Bach to Harbison to Gershwin. She has worked under such notable conductors as Grant Llewellyn, Paul Goodwin, Harry Christophers, Bruno Weil, Laurence Cummings, Odaline (Chachi) de la Martinez, Craig Smith, John Finney, James David Christie and Ryan Turner. Additional collaborations include director/choreographer Chen Shi-Zheng and Tero Saarinen, as composers Peter Child, David Patterson and John Harbison of whom she premiered (Boston) his work A Clear Midnight and Vocalism. Festivals include: Festival CLASSIQUE au vert, Boston Early Music Festival, Movimentos Internationales, TanzFestival, LAOKOON Festival, Ribeauvillé Festival de Musique Ancienne, and the Carmel Bach Festival. Appearances with Boston Camerata & Tero Saarinen Dance Company include: Borrowed Light in Paris at the Théâtre National de Chaillot, Berlin, Hamburg, Wolfsburg, Oulu and Tampere, An American Vocalist & Saw ye my hero in Paris and Travellin’ Home in Ribeauvillé. This is Ms. Consoli’s 11th season as a soloist with Emmanuel Music. Highlights include Beethoven Ah perfido!, Servilia in La Clemenza di Tito, Handel Apollo e Dafne, Bach Mass in B Minor, Handel Alexander's Feast and over thirty Bach cantatas. Ms. Consoli was the Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Fellow for the 2010-2011 season.
Upcoming solo engagements include, Handel Messiah with Masterwork Chorus of New Jersey for her debut performance at Carnegie Hall, Bach Phoebus and Pan with Emmanuel Music, Carson Cooman The Revelations of Divine Love with the newly named Commonwealth Chorale, Haydn Lord Nelson Mass with Emmanuel Music under the direction of David Angus. Ms. Consoli’s recordings include Handel & Haydn Society All is Bright for Avie Records and David Patterson Loon’s Tail Flashing for Albany Records. She is a soloist with Voices of Hope, a non-profit organization supporting cancer research. Ms. Consoli resides north of Boston with her husband, Ryan Turner and their two children.
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 Bach 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 Handel's Alcina, Erika in Barber’s Vanessa, Lucretia in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, and Paulina in Harbison'sWinter'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.
Known for her work with Renaissance and Baroque chamber music, Ms. Dellal has appeared multiple times with the Boston Early Music Festival, is a frequent guest artist with Ensemble Chaconne and the Musicians of the Old Post Road, and a current member of the Blue Heron Renaissance Choir. As a member and Acting Director of Sequentia's women's ensemble Vox Feminae, Ms. Dellal has made numerous recordings of the music of Hildegard von Bingen, and has toured the U.S., Europe, and Australia. A passionate advocate for contemporary music, she is a regular guest with the Boston ensembles Dinosaur Annex and Boston Musica Viva, and has also appeared with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the Lumen Ensemble and Collage, performing works by contemporary composers such as Martin Boykan, Martin Brody, Edward Cohen, John Harbison, Ruth Lomon, Shulamit Ran, Judith Shatin, Fabio Vacchi, Judith Weir, Scott Wheeler, and others. She has been a regular soloist in the renowned Bach Cantata series presented by Emmanuel Music since 1984, having performed almost all 200 of Bach's sacred cantatas. Her extensive discography comprises more than thirty-five recordings, on the Artona, BMG, CRI, Dorian, Meridian, and KOCH labels among others. (see Discography).
As an educator, Ms. Dellal is a newly-appointed Artist-Teacher of Historical Performance at the Longy School of Music of Bard College, where she also teaches teaches diction and repertoire classes. As Assistant Professor at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, she teaches diction courses as well. She has taught voice at Brandeis University, Phillips Exeter Academy, and Harvard University; she has also served as faculty at numerous summer festivals, including the Amherst Early Music Festival Baroque Academy and Ensemble Singing Intensive programs, the Berkshire Choral Festival, Pinewoods Early Music Week and World Fellowship Early Music Week, and the VdGSA Conclave. She has been invited to give master classes and lecture/demonstrations at many institutions throughout the US, including The North Carolina NATS conference, Stanford University, Cal. State Fullerton, SUNY New Paltz, the Longy School of Music, Wellesley College, Wheaton College, and other organizations. She is a recognized specialist in early vocal techniques and the music of Hildegard von Bingen; in addition, she has become a sought-after translator of musical texts including the Bach cantatas, translations of which appear on the Emmanuel Music website. Her translations are included in the complete works of C.P.E. Bach, published by the Packard Humanities Institute. An article on C.P.E. Bach lieder was published in the August 2014 issue of Early Music (U.K.). She is currently editing a book on Bach cantatas featuring essays by the late Craig Smith, scheduled to be published in 2020 by Pendragon Press.
Matthew Anderson has been praised for the warm tenor voice and polished musicality he brings to oratorio, opera, and musical theater.
An accomplished interpreter of the music of Bach, Mr. Anderson sings regularly as a soloist in Boston’s renowned Emmanuel Music Bach Cantata Series. He appeared at the Aldeburgh Festival as a soloist in the Saint Matthew Passion and spent several summers at the Carmel Bach Festival, where he was featured as a Virginia Best Adams Fellow and aria soloist in the Saint John Passion. He has received particular acclaim for his portrayals of the Evangelists in Bach’s Passions, which he has performed throughout the United States. Mr. Anderson is a two-time prizewinner in the American Bach Society Competition and winner of the second prize in the Oratorio Society of New York Solo Competition, in which he also won the Westenberg Award for 18th Century Stylistic Interpretation.
Recent performances from Mr. Anderson’s varied repertoire include Handel’s Acis and Galatea (Damon) with the Mark Morris Dance Group; Bach’s Coffee Cantata with Boston Baroque; Mozart’s Requiem with the National Chorale at Avery Fisher Hall; Stravinsky’s Renard at Tanglewood and the Mostly Mozart Festival with the Mark Morris Dance Group; Handel’s Messiah with the Masterwork Chorus at Carnegie Hall; John Harbison’s Winter’s Tale with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project; Haydn’s Creation and Bach's Saint John Passion and Christmas Oratorio (Evangelist) with Emmanuel Music; Britten’s Serenade with Discovery Ensemble; Bach’s Saint John and Saint Matthew Passions (Evangelist) at Princeton University, Boston University, and the University of Chicago; A Little Night Music (Mr. Erlanson) with Emmanuel Music; and Britten’s Les Illuminations with The Orchestra of Indian Hill.
He has sung with conductors Masaaki Suzuki, Nicholas McGegan, Paul Goodwin, Harry Christophers, Martin Pearlman, John Harbison, Craig Smith, Julian Wachner, and Laurence Cummings and appeared as soloist with ensembles such as the Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Cantata Singers, Musicians of the Old Post Road, Back Bay Chorale, the New Bedford Symphony, and the Handel Choir of Baltimore. Also recognized as a gifted performer of the American songbook, Mr. Anderson won high praise for his performances with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops in Carousel (as Mr. Snow), A Richard Rodgers Celebration, and An Evening of Cole Porter.
Mr. Anderson spent two seasons as a vocal fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and was a Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Fellow with Emmanuel Music. He also trained in the James Collier Apprentice Artist Program at Des Moines Metro Opera, the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme, and the Cincinnati Opera Resident Ensemble. Mr. Anderson is a Kansas native and resides in Boston, where he studied Classics at Harvard and voice at the New England Conservatory. www.matthewandersontenor.com
Baritone Thomas Jones has appeared throughout the United States, Canada and Europe with orchestras, opera companies, choral ensembles and performance series; singing repertoire ranging from Bach to Bernstein and beyond. He has received critical acclaim for his performances described as “captivating”, “elegant”, “passionate” and “irresistible”. Appearances have included a live recording of Handel’s “Samson” with the Vancouver Chamber Choir and the Canadian National Orchestra;”Messiah”, performed and recorded with New York’s “St. Cecilia Orchestra” for National Public Radio; Haydn’s “Creation” performed with the Apollo Chorus at Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, “Messiah with “The Handel & Haydn Society” at Boston’s Symphony Hall and the Bach “B Minor Mass” with New York’s Dessoff Choirs. He has sung major works with orchestras including The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, San Francisco’s “Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra”, The Pacific Symphony in California, The Omaha Symphony, Louisville Bach Society, The Santa Fe Symphony and The Phoenix Chamber Orchestra. Major choral appearances also include Baltimore Choral Arts, Masterworks of Washington, DC, San Francisco City Chorus, Pacific Chorale and concerts with well over 200 choruses throughout the US and beyond.
From opera galas to evenings of Broadway, Mr. Jones is at home with a vast array of musical styles. He has sung concerts and recitals on stages in Copenhagen and Stockholm, San Juan, Philadelphia, Boston, and throughout the Midwest and Western US. Festival appearances include The Saratoga Performing Arts Series, The Berkshire Choral Festival, Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival, Monadnock Music, Nantucket Artists Series, Martha’s Vineyard Fine Arts Series and many more. Greater Boston appearances include The Masterworks Chorale, Back Bay Chorale, Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, Commonwealth Chorale, Boston Civic
Orchestra, Coro Allegro, Cape Cod Symphony, Arcadia Chamber Orchestra, Worcester Chorus, Providence Singers and dozens more. And, he has worked with conductors such as Christopher Hogwood, Nicholas McGegan, Roger Norrington, John Washburn, Robert Page, Thomas Dunn, Christopher Shepard, John Alexander, Daniel Beckwith, Stephen Simon, John Oliver, Jung-Ho Pak and Gerald Mack. New works of music were composed for him by American icon Libby Larson and John Goodman.
Mr. Jones has been teaching voice and vocal performance practice through the Office for the Arts and the Holden Choirs at Harvard University for the past 27 years and conducts the choir and music program at Old Cambridge Baptist Church on the edge of the Harvard campus in Harvard Square. He is frequently invited to adjudicate at choral and vocal solo competitions and music festivals; acting as a choral / vocal clinician and master teacher.
Charles Blandy has been praised as “unfailingly, tirelessly lyrical” (Boston Globe); “a versatile tenor with agility, endless breath, and vigorous high notes” (Goldberg Early Music Magazine); and for his “clear, focused, gorgeous tenor voice” (Worcester Telegram and Gazette).
In 2017 he sang the Evangelist in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, with Emmanuel Music. He is a regular part of their ongoing Bach Cantata series. He appeared with Orchestra Iowa in Bach’s Mass in B minor; and appeared with Music of the Baroque in Mozart’s “Great” C minor Mass; and the B minor Mass with the Apollo Chorus of Chicago. Recent performances include Handel’s Messiah with Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra; the role of Belmonte in Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio with Emmanuel Music; Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno d’Ulisse, Vespers of 1610, L’Orfeo, and works from the 8th book of madrigals with Boston Early Music Festival; Mozart’s Requiem with True Concord at Lincoln Center in New York; Bach’s B minor Mass with the American Classical Orchestra (NYC), also at Lincoln Center; and St. Matthew Passion with the American Bach Soloists (SF, CA). He has also appeared with the Bach Choir of Bethlehem, Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, Charlotte Symphony, Berkshire Choral Festival, and Pittsburgh Bach and Baroque.
He appears on three new CD releases: Virgil Thomson’s Four Saints in Three Acts with Boston Modern Orchestra Project; J.C.F Fischer’s Vespers of 1701 with Exsultemus and Newton Baroque; and sacred music of Ross Lee Finney with the Harvard University Choir. In opera he was recently heard in John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby; as Tom Rakewell in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress; Tamino in Mozart’s Magic Flute; Lurcanio in Handel’s Ariodante; and Almaviva in Rossini’s Barber of Seville.
In contemporary music, he premiered Rodney Lister’s chamber song cycle Friendly Fire with Collage New Music; appears on Boston Modern Orchestra Project’s new CD of Virgil Thomson’s Four Saints in Three Acts, and gave the US premiere of Rautavaara’s song cycle Die Liebenden. In recital, he has performed Schubert at the Token Creek Chamber Music Festival (WI); Schubert and Brahms with Boston Chamber Music Society; Janacek and Finzi at Monadnock Music (NH); and his recital of Rachmaninoff, Liszt, and Szymanowski was called “one of the most engrossing concerts in ages”. He gave recitals of modern American music in New York, Boston, London and Manchester UK, with pianist/composer Rodney Lister.
He is the product of a strong public school arts program in Troy, NY; and graduated from Oberlin College with a BA in religion. He received his Master’s Degree from Indiana University. Further training was at Tanglewood, where he was awarded the Grace B. Jackson prize for excellence; and at the Britten-Pears School in Aldeburgh UK.
Mark Mummert is Cantor at Trinity Lutheran Church, Worcester, where he leads the congregational worship music, conducts the Trinity Choir and Trinity Choristers, and is artistic director of the Music at Trinity fine arts series. In July 2017, Mark was appointed as Artistic Director of Diamonds From The Dust, Worcester's professional vocal ensemble. Prior to moving to Worcester in 2016, Mark was the 2015 Distinguished Visiting Cantor at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, his birthplace, and Director of Worship at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Houston, Texas (2008-2015). During his eighteen years as Seminary Musician at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia he composed liturgical music for the 2006 publication of Evangelical Lutheran Worship, the commended worship book of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. As a singer, Mark has performed with the Bach Choir of Houston, Houston Chamber Choir, Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia. He currently sings with CONCORA (Connecticut Choral Arts) and with the St. Johnis Schola Cantorum in Worcester.
Mark can be heard as a tenor soloists on several recordings, including the A New Spring Time: Compositions by Daniel Knaggs (2013), the Grammy-nominated recording soft blink of amber light (MSR, 2015), and the Grammy-nominated recording Rothko Chapel (ECM New Series, 2015). Mark studied voice at Temple University's esteemed Esther Boyer College of Music with Robert Grooters and is a current student of Jane Shivick. www.markmummert.com
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 more than 60 years. He began teaching Recorder and Voice 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 soloist and conductor throughout the U.S. and in Europe. His solo roles have included several Operas, Oratorios and recitals here and abroad. His compositions and arrangements are often programmed by all-state and festival choirs here and abroad, including the Worcester Chorus in 2011 and in the recent Armenian Genocide Centennial concert at Mechanics Hall. Another composition, a setting of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Bells” was premiered here in Mechanics Hall by the Master Singers of Worcester, the Salisbury Singers and Handbell Choir of First Congregational Church of Shrewsbury in the Spring of 2017. He was the Music Director of the Visit Canada International Polychoral Festival in Montreal and Quebec for a decade.
He is a published author, poet, arranger and award winning composer whose works are published by Walton, Plymouth and Alliance publications, and has served as choral consultant for Glencoe/Macmillan/McGraw-Hill Educational Publishing. He was named Connecticut Music Educator of the Year for 1995; he was awarded the University of Connecticut’s “Excellence in High School Teaching” award; and was honored on national television on the “Disney Channel and McDonald’s presents the American Teacher Awards.” He is listed in Who’s Who in American Education, Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World.
During the summer 0f 2013 Steve returned to Worcester and accepted the position of Director of Music Ministry at the First Congregational Church of Paxton, and has joined the faculty of the Joy of Music Program as a Recorder and Voice teacher.