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Friday, April 27, 2012 at 8pm
Sunday, April 29, 2012 at 3pm
Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA
HANDEL: Zadok the Priest
MOZART: Exsultate, jubilate
HAYDN: Symphony No. 85, La reine
HANDEL: Arrival of the Queen of Sheba
HANDEL: “Ev’ry sight these eyes behold” from Solomon
MOZART: Coronation Mass
Harry Christophers, conductor
Rosemary Joshua, soprano
Paula Murrihy, mezzo-soprano
Thomas Cooley, tenor
Sumner Thompson, bass
Subscriptions and single tickets may be purchased through the Handel and Haydn Box Office by phone at 617 266 3605, online at handelandhaydn.org, or in person at the Handel and Haydn office, Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston (M–F, 10am–6pm). Single tickets range from $20 to $78. Student rush available starting one hour before the performance: $15 cash only with valid ID, best available seats subject to availability. Groups of 10 or more receive a 20% discount.
The 2011–2012 Season culminates with a majestic program. Artistic Director Harry Christophers comments, “We’ve concentrated in this program on monarchs and coronations. Mozart’s fantastic Coronation Mass is paired with one of those great Baroque gems, Handel’s Arrival of the Queen of Sheba. This piece may be familiar to many listeners from its popular use to herald in the bride at weddings. I also look forward to conducting Haydn’s wonderful Symphony No. 85, La reine, a favorite of Marie Antoinette, which will make a marvelous complement to the program.” Mozart’s Coronation Mass, one of his most beloved Latin mass settings, includes the tender “Agnus Dei” for solo soprano, to be performed by internationally renowned soprano Rosemary Joshua in her Handel and Haydn Society debut. Mozart’s Exultate, jubilate and Handel’s Zadok the Priest and “Ev’ry sight these eyes behold” from Solomon complete the program.
Tenor Thomas Cooley returns to H&H in Mozart Coronation after most recently performing in Mozart Mass in C Minor in 2010; he can be heard on H&H’s recording of the work, released on CORO. Soloists also include mezzo-soprano Paula Murrihy and local bass Sumner Thompson, who both return to H&H after having perfomed as members of the H&H Chorus as well as guest soloists. Murrihy most recently appeared in Handel’s Messiah in 2008, and Thompson was heard last season in The Bach Experience.
Mozart’s Coronation Mass will be recorded live for commercial release on the CORO label in September 2012. The recording will join Mozart Mass in C Minor (September 2010) and Mozart Requiem (September 2011) to complete a Mozart trilogy. The CORO label was launched in 2001 to record founder and conductor Harry Christophers’ UK-based ensemble The Sixteen.
The 2011–2012 Season is Harry Christophers’ third as Artistic Director of the Handel and Haydn Society. Since September 2006, when he led a sold-out performance in the Esterházy Palace at the Haydn Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria, he has conducted Handel and Haydn each season and, following his appointment in 2008, Christophers’ tenure as Artistic Director began with the 2009–2010 season. Christophers and Handel and Haydn have since embarked on an ambitious artistic journey with a showcase of works premiered in the United States by the Handel and Haydn Society over the last 197 years, and the release of the first of a series of recordings on CORO leading to the 2015 Bicentennial. Christophers is founder and conductor of the UK-based choir and period instrument ensemble The Sixteen. He has directed The Sixteen throughout Europe, America, and the Far East, gaining a distinguished reputation for his work in Renaissance, Baroque, and 20th-century music. In 2000, he instituted The Sixteen’s “Choral Pilgrimage,” a tour of British cathedrals from York to Canterbury. With that ensemble, he has recorded close to 100 titles for which he has won numerous awards, including a Grand Prix du Disque for Handel Messiah, numerous Preise der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik (German Record Critics Awards), the coveted Gramophone Award for Early Music, and the prestigious Classical Brit Award (2005) for his disc entitled Renaissance. In 2009, he received one of classical music’s highest accolades, the Classic FM Gramophone Awards Artist of the Year Award, and The Sixteen won the Baroque Vocal Award for Handel Coronation Anthems, a CD that also received a 2010 Grammy Award nomination. Harry Christophers is also Principal Guest Conductor of the Granada Symphony Orchestra and a regular guest conductor with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields and the Orquestra de la Comunidad de Madrid. In October 2008, Christophers was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Music from the University of Leicester. Most recently, he was elected an Honorary Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford and also of the Royal Welsh Academy for Music and Drama.
Soprano Rosemary Joshua makes her Handel and Haydn Society debut in Mozart Coronation. Joshua was born in Cardiff and studied at the Royal College of Music, of which she is now a Fellow.
Her recent operatic appearances include Adèle (Die Fledermaus) at The Metropolitan Opera; Vixen (The Cunning Little Vixen) and Tytania (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) at La Scala, Milan; Anne Trulove (The Rake’s Progress) at the Royal Opera House, the Glyndebourne Festival, and La Monnaie, Brussels; Oscar (Un ballo in maschera) and Vixen at the Netherlands Opera; and Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro) at the Glyndebourne Festival, the Bayerische Staatsoper, the Welsh National Opera, and in Cologne.
Since making her debut at the Aix-en-Provence Festival as Angelica (Orlando), it is above all as a Handel singer that Joshua has built her international reputation. She has sung Ginevra (Ariodante) in San Diego; Angelica in Munich and at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Poppea (Agrippina) in Cologne, Brussels, and Paris; Cleopatra (Giulio Cesare) in Paris, Amsterdam, and Florida; and the title role in Semele to great critical acclaim at the Aix-en-Provence and Innsbruck Festivals, Flanders Opera, Cologne Opera, the BBC Proms, and the English National Opera (for which she was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award in the Outstanding Achievement in Opera category). Her plans include Despina (Così fan tutte) at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Nitocris (Belshazzar) in Toulouse; and Vixen at the Netherlands Opera. Recent concert appearances include the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Opera, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic.
Recordings include the title roles in Handel’s Partenope and Semele and Emilia in Flavio with Christian Curnyn for Chandos; the title role in Handel’s Esther for Somm; Angelica in Orlando with Les Arts Florissants and William Christie for Erato; Saul, Venus and Adonis, and Dido and Aeneas with René Jacobs for Harmonia Mundi; and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with the Orchestre des Champs-Elysées with Philippe Herreweghe for Outhere Music.
Irish mezzo-soprano Paula Murrihy returns to the Handel and Haydn Society after last appearing in Handel’s Messiah in 2008. Murrihy has appeared at London’s Royal Opera House, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Oper Frankfurt, Opera de Nice, Chicago Opera Theater, Wexford Festival Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, and Opera Boston in a range of roles including the title role in Handel’s Ariodante, Dido in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Annio in Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito, 2nd Lady in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Cherubino in Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles, Tebaldo in Verdi’s Don Carlo, Helene in Chabrier’s Une éducation manquée, and Ino in Handel’s Semele. She returned to the Royal Opera in 2010 as Mercedes in Carmen and recently joined Oper Frankfurt as a member of their ensemble, where her roles have included Dorabella in Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Medoro in Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso, Baba in Stravinsky’s The Rake's Progress, and Scipio in Glanert’s Caligula. Plans this season in Frankfurt include L'etoile and Les Contes d'Hoffmann, and she makes her debut at Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse as Annio in La Clemenza di Tito.
Murrihy recently performed Messiah with Huddersfield Choral Society, Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Utah Symphony, Haydn’s Harmoniemesse with the Gabrieli Consort, and Haydn’s Paukenmesse at Tanglewood and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, both with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She was alto soloist in Bach’s Mass in B Minor at the 2011 Annual Cartagena International Music Festival, Colombia. An accomplished recitalist, she has performed at the Aldeburgh Festival, UK; New York Festival of Song; Wexford Festival; and with the Irish Chamber Orchestra in the Shannon International Music Festival. She was also invited to participate in the Marilyn Horne Foundation Masterclass Series at Carnegie Hall, New York. In January 2012, she was the soloist in the world premiere of John Harbison’s Symphony No. 6 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Murrihy has been a Young Artist at the Santa Fe Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Utah Opera, Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera, and Tanglewood Music Center. She holds a Master’s of Music from the New England Conservatory, where she was a recipient of the John Moriarty Presidential Scholarship and a Presser Award. She received her Bachelor’s of Music Performance from the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama, Dublin, Ireland.
American tenor Thomas Cooley returns to the Handel and Haydn Society in Mozart Coronation after most recently performing in Mozart Mass in C Minor during the 2009–2010 Season. Cooley is establishing a worldwide reputation as a singer of versatility, expressiveness, and virtuosity. Equally at home on the concert stage and in the opera house, his repertoire ranges across more than four centuries.
Season highlights in 2010–11 include Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang with the National Arts Centre Orchestra (Rizzi), Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Atlanta Symphony (Runnicles) and Cathedral Choral Society, Berlioz’ Requiem at Carnegie Hall (Spano), Haydn’s The Creation with the Indianapolis Symphony (Boyd) and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra (McGegan), Bach’s St. Matthew Passion in Köln and Saarbrucken, Mozart’s Requiem (Christophers) and Honneger’s Le roi David (Shoenandt) in Amsterdam, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Alabama Symphony (Brown), the title role in Handel’s Jephtha and Saint-Saëns’ Requiem (Tritle) in New York, and Handel’s Messiah with the Minnesota Orchestra (Vanska) and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (Polochik).
Recent recital highlights include performances of works by Monteverdi and Schütz (Berkeley); Britten (Britten Festival, Aldeburgh); Haydn and Beethoven (Göttingen); and Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin with pianist Donald Sulzen. Cooley lived in Munich for ten years, four as a member of the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz, singing featured roles in operas by Mozart and Rossini. Cooley’s recent recordings include Handel Samson (Göttingen Handel Festival Orchestra/McGegan, Carus); Vivaldi Dixit Dominus (Deutsche Grammophon); Mozart Requiem (Windsbacher Knabenchor, Sony) and Mozart Mass in C Minor (Handel and Haydn Society/Christophers, CORO).
American bass Sumner Thompson returns to the Handel and Haydn Society after last performing in The Bach Experience in 2011. Described as possessing “power and passion” and “stylish elegance,” Thompson is in demand on concert and opera stages across North America and Europe.
He has appeared as a soloist with many leading ensembles, including the Britten-Pears Orchestra, the National Symphony, the Boston Early Music Festival, Apollo’s Fire, Pacific Baroque Orchestra, Les Boréades de Montréal, Mercury Baroque, Les Voix Baroques, Boston Baroque, and Tafelmusik.
Upcoming engagements include Handel’s Messiah with the Handel and Haydn Society in December 2012, Bach’s St. John Passion with Orchestra Iowa and with Switzerland’s Gli Angeli Genève, a return to Early Music Vancouver’s summer festival with Les Voix Baroques, and Messiah with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.
Thompson can be heard on the Boston Early Music Festival’s Grammy-nominated recording of Lully’s Psyché on the CPO label, and also with Les Voix Baroques on Canticum Canticorum, Carissimi Oratorios, and Humori, all on the ATMA label.
Teresa Neff received her PhD in Musicology from Boston University. Her research interests center around Gottfried van Swieten, a late 18th-century Viennese patron and composer. Artaria will publish Neff’s edition of Swieten’s symphonies later this year. She has presented papers at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, the New England Chapter of the American Musicological Society, and the Architecture/Music/Acoustics Conference. She presents concert preview lectures for Elderhostel and Boston Lyric Opera, and also teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and The Boston Conservatory.
Friday, April 27, 2012 at 7pm
Sunday, April 29, 2012 at 2pm
Higginson Hall, Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA
Free with concert tickets
Musicologist Teresa Neff gives an illuminating look inside the music and historical context of the program.
Sunday, April 29, 2011 post-concert
Lucca Back Bay, 116 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA
Handel and Haydn celebrates the 2011–2012 Season by gathering with musicians, staff, and patrons for an evening of wine and hors d’oeuvres.
ABOUT HANDEL AND HAYDN SOCIETY
Handel and Haydn Society (H&H) is a professional Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus and an internationally recognized leader in the field of Historically Informed Performance, a revelatory style that uses the instruments and techniques of the composer’s time. Founded in Boston in 1815, H&H is considered the oldest continuously performing arts organization in the United States and has a longstanding commitment to excellence and innovation: it gave the American premieres of Handel’s Messiah (1818), Haydn’s The Creation (1819), Verdi’s Requiem (1878), and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion (1879). Handel and Haydn today, under Artistic Director Harry Christophers’ leadership, is committed to its mission to perform Baroque and Classical music at the highest levels of artistic excellence and to share that music with as large and diverse an audience as possible. H&H is widely known through its local subscription series, tours, concert broadcasts on WGBH/99.5 Classical New England and National Public Radio, and recordings. Its recording of Sir John Tavener’s Lamentations and Praises won a 2003 Grammy Award and two of its recordings, All is Bright and Peace, appeared simultaneously in the top ten on Billboard Magazine’s classical music chart. In September 2010, H&H released its first collaboration with Harry Christophers on the CORO label, Mozart Mass in C Minor—the first in a series of live commercial recordings leading to H&H’s Bicentennial in 2015. The 2010–2011 Season marked the 25th anniversary of Handel and Haydn’s award-winning Karen S. and George D. Levy Educational Outreach Program, which brings music education, vocal training, and performance opportunities to 10,000 students annually throughout Greater Boston and beyond.
Handel and Haydn Society is funded in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
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