Tucson Symphony Orchestra & Chorus Celebrate the Season with Handel’s Messiah

by Tucson Symphony

Bruce Chamberlain to Conduct Performances at Catalina Foothills High School

(Tucson, AZ)— The Tucson Symphony Orchestra and Chorus will perform George Frideric Handel’s Messiah including the joyful Hallelujah Chorus on Saturday, December 9 at 4:00 p.m. and Sunday, December 10 at 2:00 p.m. at Catalina Foothills High School, 4300 E. Sunrise Drive, Tucson. Bruce Chamberlain will conduct the orchestra, chorus and four soloists in this magnificent choral work.

Bruce Chamberlain is Director of Choral Activities and Associate Director of the Fred Fox School of Music and founding Director of the TSO Chorus, bringing to these positions 40 years of professional experience. Chamberlain has appeared with the symphony orchestras of St. Petersburg (Russia), San Antonio (Texas), Imperial Symphony Orchestra (Florida), Concerto Soloists Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic, Czech Virtuosi Orchestra (Brno), Budapest Chamber Orchestra, Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra, New England Symphonic Ensemble and the New York City Chamber Orchestra.

A summa cum laude graduate of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music with bachelor’s, master’s and DMus degrees, Chamberlain studied conducting with Julius Herford, Margaret Hillis and John Nelson, piano with Menachem Pressler, Wallace Hornibrook and Nicholas Zumbro, and continued choral/orchestral conducting studies with Helmut Rilling and Sir Andrew Davis. This marks the 25th time in his career that Chamberlain has conducted Messiah. It is also special because he will be joined onstage by his family: his wife Peggy is an alto in the chorus; his daughter Ellen is a violinist and his son, Robert is a cellist with the TSO.

The TSO’s performances of Messiah will feature:

  • Teresa Wakim, soprano, is perhaps best known as “a perfect early music voice.” Upon completion of her studies at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Boston University’s College of Fine Arts, Wakim was soon named a Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Fellow at Emmanuel Music in Boston, and won First Prize in the International Soloist Competition for Early Music in Brunnenthal, Austria.
  • Misty Leah Bermudez, mezzo-soprano, has a successful career as a concert soloist, chamber artist and operatic actress. Solo engagements have included performances with The Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra, Opera Naples, The San Antonio Symphony, The New World Symphony and the Miami Symphony Orchestra, in such works as Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Mass in B Minor, Mozart’s Requiem, and Bach’s St. John Passion.
  • Matthew Chellis, tenor, has appeared to critical and popular acclaim throughout the U.S., Europe, South America, and Canada. Originally trained as an actor and dancer, he began his professional education at the University of Michigan where he earned his Bachelor of Musical Arts degree. After receiving his Master of Music from the Manhattan School of Music, he spent two years as a company member of the prestigious Juilliard Opera Center and was an apprentice artist with both Santa Fe Opera and Wolf Trap Opera.
  • Marcus DeLoach, baritone, has been hailed by The New York Times as “a fine baritone who puts words across with clarity and naturalness.” In concert he has performed with Lorin Maazel, Riccardo Muti and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and Kristjan Järvi with the London Symphony Orchestra, among many others. DeLoach holds both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music.

Messiah is Handel’s most popular work and one of the most beloved masterpieces of the choral repertoire. The work features inspiring arias, sinfonias and choruses.  Handel keenly sensed the mass appeal of staging familiar Biblical tales. He crafted Messiah for operatic forces—choir, orchestra and soloists—but dispensed with the costlier elements of theatrical productions, such as sets and costumes.  Its form is a dramatic oratorio, combining elements of Italian opera with the German Passions. The chorus plays a pivotal role in telling the story, whose text was compiled from the King James Version of the Old and New Testaments.

MasterWorks programs receive generous support from Drs. John P. and Helen S. Schaefer.

Tickets to Handel’s Messiah are $45 to $68. Tickets for children under 18 are 50% off. They are available online at www.tucsonsymphony.org, at the Tucson Symphony Orchestra Box Office, 2175 N. Sixth Avenue or by phone at 520.882.8585. TSO Box Office hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. unless otherwise indicated. 

Programming, artists and prices are subject to change.

Contact: Terry Marshall, Public Relations Manager, 520.620.9158