Pacific Chamber Orchestra’s acclaimed concert presentation of Handel’s Messiah will jump start the holiday season Saturday November 30th, 7:30 pm Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church and Sunday December 1st, 3:00 pm Bankhead Theatre, Livermore. The Livermore performance has become a yearly tradition at the Bankhead Theater. And for the first time, due to audience demand, a Lafayette performance has been added!
Conductor Lawrence Kohl and the orchestra will be joined by four renowned soloists to deliver a memorable performance: soprano Marnie Breckenridge, and mezzo-soprano Silvie Jensen, tenor Ricky Garcia, and baritone Ben Brady. Acclaimed for her “lovely, lyrical, stunning” voice soprano Marnie Breckenridge has appeared world-wide with such prestigious companies as Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Prague State Opera, Los Angeles Opera and the Met. “Marvelous, elegant, beautiful” Mezzo-soprano Silvie Jensen has soloed with the San Francisco Symphony, performed at Carnegie Hall and appeared with the Lyric Opera of Chicago. From Rome to Santa Fe Opera Ricky Garcia tenor voice brings “rich, heart touching passion”. Award winning Baritone Ben Brady “sonorous tone and commanding stage presence is known locally for his appearances with the Livermore Valley Opera. Ofer dal Lal is the chorus master of the Pacific Chamber Orchestra Chorus.
The Pacific Chamber Orchestra Chorus is made up of members from different choruses in the region. To Chorister Donna Edwards, who has sung in choruses around the world, enthuses, “this combination of talents creates a magical experience.” Raquel Holt, a founder and board member of the Livermore Valley Opera, has sung the Messiah with PCO at least six times adds, “Singing with members of other choral groups creates an instant "village" because of common interest and purpose.
Baroque composer George Frederick Handel’s The Messiah is one of the great masterworks of classical music. A time-honored oratorio, it was originally presented as an Easter offering in 1742, but since then the first part has become a Christmas holiday tradition around the world with its sublime melodies and uplifting messages. “However, there is a full story to tell,” Kohl explains, “so I have added some gorgeous numbers from the second and third parts such as, “Their Sound is Gone Out,” which we do as a quartet of the soloists as otherwise they do not sing together; the incredible Baritone arias: “Why do Nations Rage so Furiously Together?” and “The Trumpet Shall Sound”; the beautiful Soprano aria, “I know that my redeemer liveth,” along with choruses like, “Worthy is the Lamb”; and the final incredible climatic, “Amen” chorus. In a PCO tradition, the audience will be invited to join in and lift their voices in a sing-along reprise of the beloved “Hallelujah” chorus.
The Messiah leads off PCO’s new Mini Season discount pass with Schubert – The Sublime in March and Beethoven – The Heroic in May.
Tickets may be purchased for “The Glorious – Handel Messiah” online at www.pacificchamberorchestra.org and additionally for the Livermore performance by calling or visiting the Bankhead box office 925-373-6800 at 2400 First Street, Livermore.
The musicians of the Pacific Chamber Orchestra have performed in the SF Symphony; and the orchestras of the SF Opera, SF Ballet, Curran Theater, and Skywalker Sound Studios. They are recording artists, tour internationally in chamber music groups and make guest appearances as concerto soloists. Conductor Lawrence Kohl is acclaimed for his “masterful conducting” achieving “just the right blend of intimate delicacy and public rhetoric.” For information and videos about PCO, go to pacificchamberorchestra.org.