A triumph of music and text, Handel’s Messiah is a matchless December tradition. The exquisite choral writing and the exultant “Hallelujah” chorus — featuring the Seattle Symphony, Chorale and a strong cast of soloists — honor Handel’s greatest work.
If it's true, and it probably is, that the best conductors are the ones who learn their business from the inside — playing with an orchestra, accompanying voices, actually making music — then the harpsichordist-turned-conductor Jory Vinikour is a prime example.Twice nominated for a Grammy as a harpsichord soloist and internationally known for concerto appearances with leading orchestras as well as concert partnerships with leading singers, Mr. Vinikour spent more than twenty years playing continuo for opera bands in Paris, Zurich, Salzburg, and Aix. After that, directing from the keyboard was a natural progression.
Soprano Sherezade Panthaki’s international success in music of the Baroque and beyond has been fueled by superbly honed musicianship; “astonishing coloratura with radiant top notes” (Calgary Herald); “a full, luxuriously toned upper range” (The Los Angeles Times), and passionately informed interpretations, “mining deep emotion from the subtle shaping of the lines” (The New York Times). An acknowledged star in the early-music field, Ms. Panthaki enjoys ongoing collaborations with many of the world’s leading interpreters including Nicholas McGegan, Masaaki Suzuki, Mark Morris, Nicholas Kraemer, Matthew Halls, Paul Agnew, and Lawrence Cummings.
Praised by Opera News for her “unusually rich and resonant” voice, contralto Sara Couden is a premiere interpreter of operatic, chamber and song repertoire. Ms. Couden is an early music enthusiast and an indefatigable champion of modern music. A gifted actress, her vast repertoire includes roles ranging in style from the terrifying Baba (THE MEDIUM) to the tragic Cornelia (GIULIO CESARE), as well as the comic Dame Quickly (FALSTAFF) and Katisha (THE MIKADO).
A “superb vocal soloist” (The Washington Post) with “impressive clarity and color” (The New York Times), tenor Steven Soph performs concert repertoire spanning the Renaissance to modern day. Steven performs with top American vocal ensembles including GRAMMY®-nominated Seraphic Fire and True Concord Voices & Orchestra; GRAMMY® Award-winning Roomful of Teeth and Conspirare; Gramophone® finalist Cut Circle; Trident; Yale Choral Artists; Santa Fe Desert Chorale; Oregon Bach Festival Berwick Chorus; Colorado Bach Ensemble; Sounding Light; Ensemble Origo; and Spire Chamber Ensemble.
American bass Adam Lau, praised as a “bass of real quality, with sonorous low notes,” continues a busy and active career with a wide range of operatic and concert dates in the 2019–2020 season. Returning back to Seattle Opera, Mr Lau makes a new role debut as Alidoro in La Cenerentola. Later in the season, he makes his role debut as Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor at Lyric Opera of Kansas City. Following these performances, he will make his role debut as Zuniga in Carmen with Master Voices at Lincoln Center.
The Seattle Symphony Chorale serves as the official chorus of the Seattle Symphony. Over its past four decades, the Chorale has grown in artistry and stature, establishing itself as a highly respected ensemble.
Led by Music Director Thomas Dausgaard, the Seattle Symphony unleashes the power of music, brings people together and lifts the human spirit. Recognized as one of the “most vital American orchestras” (NPR), the Seattle Symphony is internationally acclaimed for its inventive programming, community-minded initiatives and superb recordings on the Seattle Symphony Media label.
Performances of Handel’s Messiah are supported by a gift in memory of Gwen Jones Whyte.