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 pulse-pounding, earth shaking masterpiece, Messiah including the joyful Hallelujah Chorus on Saturday, December 15 at 4:00 p.m. and Sunday, December 16 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. Last year’s performances sold out.

Bruce Chamberlain retired as Director of Choral Activities and Associate Director of the Fred Fox School of Music in May 2018. He is the founding Director of the TSO Chorus, bringing to this position 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, Chamberlain has conducted Messiah across the country more than 25 times. The Tucson performance are special because he will be joined onstage by his family: his wife Peggy is an alto in the chorus; his daughter Ellen and son, Robert are musicians with the TSO.

The TSO’s performances of Messiah will feature: Kathryn Mueller, soprano, Sarah Barber, alto, Richard Trey Smagur, tenor and Troy Cook, baritone.

  • Grammy® winner Kathryn Mueller has appeared with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, Pacific Symphony, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Santa Fe Pro Musica, and Eastern Music Festival. A vocal fellow at the Carmel Bach Festival she was a soloist on Seraphic Fire’s best-selling Monteverdi Vespers of 1610.
  • Sarah Barber appears regularly on operatic and concert stages across North America. Opera News lauded her as a “rich voiced, imaginative artist” and a “major find.” Barber holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Northern Iowa.
  • A current member of the Houston Grand Opera studio, Richard Trey Smagur was a winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2017. He made several significant debuts this summer, including Wolf Trap Opera, the National Symphony Orchestra and at the Aspen Music Festival and School.
  • Troy Cook began his 2018-19 season singing Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoorwith Opera Philadelphia, and returns there in the spring to sing Marcello in La bohème. He also appears with Minnesota Opera and Austin Opera to reprise the role of Father Palmer in Silent Night. He finishes the season with Central City Opera as Sharpless in Madame Butterfly.

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 Splendido and Drs. John P. and Helen S. Schaefer.

Tickets to Handel’s Messiah are $45 to $55. 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