CONCORA and Hartford Chorale Director Richard Coffey to Conduct
HARTFORD, November 15, 2012 – The Hartford Symphony Orchestra and CONCORA will come together to perform one of the most famous choral works ever written- Handel’s Messiah- on Friday, December 14 and Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. at Asylum Hill Congregational Church in Hartford. Led by guest conductor and CONCORA artistic director Richard Coffey, this intimate and historically accurate performance will feature guest soloists Claudia Rosenthal, Kelly Hill, Galeano Salas, and Andrew Craig Brown.
Handel wrote the 259-page musical score to Messiah over the course of only 24 days. Despite its rapid creation, this work has endured as one of the greatest pieces for chorus and orchestra of all time. Although today it is popular to produce Messiah with gargantuan choruses and massive settings, the Hartford Symphony’s performances with the 32-voice CONCORA will capture Handel’s intended sound for this work. These holiday performances will feature the entire oratorio, from the cherished “Comfort Ye” tenor solo and dynamic “Rejoice Greatly” soprano solo to the glorious “For Unto Us a Child is Born” and “Hallelujah” choruses, and more.
Richard Coffey, Music Director of the Hartford Chorale, is one of New England’s principal choral conductors. In 1974, Coffey founded, and is still Music Director of CONCORA (Connecticut Choral Artists), a fully professional vocal ensemble. He served as the Hartford Chorale’s interim music director in the 2005-2006 season, which led to his appointment as the permanent music director in June of 2006. Mr. Coffey is organist and Minister of Music of the South Church in New Britain, where he conducts a choir of professional and amateur singers and serves as artistic director of its Music Series, which annually presents concerts by visiting artists.
CONCORA perpetuates and performs with excellence choral music of the highest quality for the broadest possible audience, represents a commitment to the Connecticut community, a commitment to artistic excellence, masterful performances, and educational enrichment – enhancing the lives of generations. Since its founding in 1974 by its Conductor and Artistic Director, Richard Coffey, CONCORA has held a unique place in the arts community as Connecticut’s premier professional choir, and has built an extraordinary reputation for artistic excellence throughout New England. CONCORA is the recipient of the Governor’s Arts Award, in recognition of remarkable artistic achievement and contributions to the arts in Connecticut.
Praised by critics for her “crystal clear melodic voice” and dramatic “charm,” soprano Claudia Rosenthal was named a Career Bridges Grand Prize Winner by the Shuyler Foundation, a winner of the Galli-Campi coloratura award and third place winner by the Amici Competition, and a finalist in the Marcello Giordani International Vocal Competition in the spring of 2012. Claudia has been a soloist with the Yale Symphony Orchestra, and her performance with them was aired on Connecticut’s National Public Radio.
Kelly Hill, mezzo-soprano, recently graduated with a Master’s Degree from the Yale School of Music, and returns this year to complete an Artist Diploma. Recent engagements include leading roles with Yale Opera, Central City Opera and Santa Fe Opera.
Galeano Salas is a Texas native who grew up in Mexico City and is currently pursuing an M.M. in Opera Performance at Yale University. Previous young artist programs include Central City Opera, the Wolf Trap Opera Studio, Ohio Light Opera, and Texas Music Festival: Le Chiavi di Bel Canto. Galeano was also a featured soloist in the 9th Annual Latin Grammy Awards.
In the 2012-13 season, bass-baritone Andrew Craig Brown makes his debut at English National Opera as Achilla in Julius Caesar and returns in the spring of 2013 as Colline in La Bohéme. Recent engagements have included his debuts with the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Guiseppe Verdi and at the Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival of Warsaw. A recent graduate of Yale Opera, Mr. Brown has appeared in the Yale School of Music and is a graduate of Yale University, where he earned both his Master’s degree and Artist Diploma.
HSO SPECIAL EVENT: HANDEL’S MESSIAH
with Richard Coffey, guest conductor; CONCORA; Claudia Rosenthal, soprano; Kelly Hill, mezzo-soprano; Galeano Salas, tenor; Andrew Craig Brown, bass-baritone
Friday, December 14, 2012 │ 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 15, 2012 │ 7:30 p.m.
Asylum Hill Congregational Church
Ticket Information: $35 General Admission. Student tickets are $15. To purchase tickets or for more information, please contact HSO ticket services at (860) 244-2999 or visit www.hartfordsymphony.org.
The Hartford Symphony Orchestra’s 2012-2013 season is sponsored by Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center. The Hartford Symphony Orchestra receives major support from the Greater Hartford Arts Council, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, and the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism.