Handel's Messiah Sing-along
Artistic Director: Jean-Sébastien Lévesque
December 18, 2022 @ 2:00 pm
Fulford Hall, Salt Spring Island
Messiah - Part the First
Messiah - Part the Second
- Part the Third
Bach on the Rock’s chamber orchestra and choir, with guests from Viva Chorale and Salt Spring Singers, presents Handel’s Messiah. Audience members are invited to sing along with some of the selections from this seasonal masterwork. Directed by Bach on the Rock’s artistic director Jean-Sébastien Lévesque, with soloists Celeste Lingas, soprano; Cassidy Stahr, mezzo-soprano; Adam Schmidt, tenor; Kyron Basu, baritone.
George Frideric Handel’s Messiah was first performed as an Easter oratorio in 1742 in Dublin.
In the nearly three centuries that have passed since then, it has become one of the most loved and performed choral works in the Western world, now associated with the Christmas season. For some music lovers, enjoying a performance of the Messiah is a holiday imperative.
As famed British conductor Lawrence Cummings said in a Dec. 2009 Smithsonian Magazine article: "The feelings of joy you get from the Hallelujah choruses are second to none. And how can anybody resist the Amen chorus at the end? It will always lift your spirits if you are feeling down."
For the Dec. 18 afternoon sing-along, Novello edition scores are provided for audience members to sing chorus parts between the glorious solo pieces.
Tickets for the show are $25 for adults and $5 for youth, and available at the link below and at the door.
Born in Princeton, New Jersey and raised in England, Celeste Lingas spent many years performing in the Oxford Girls’ Choir, with director Richard Vendome. There she sang as both a chorister and soloist in productions of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Handel’s Semele, and a variety of classical and contemporary choral works. Lingas is also greatly influenced by her experience in Byzantine chant, which she continues now alongside her undergraduate studies at the University of Victoria.
Celeste Lingas, Soprano
Mezzo-soprano Cassidy Stahr (B’Mus 2020) works as a vocalist and B&B manager of a heritage house in Victoria. Cassidy is in the touring Vancouver Island Chamber Choir and was a choral scholar at Christ Church Cathedral for 5 years. Cassidy frequented baroque and early music concerts pre-pandemic, and will return as part of a quartet in Pacific Baroque Series’ Old Music for the New Year on the first day of 2023. This past summer, she performed in Menotti’s The Consul (Secretary) and the musical Tuck Everlasting (Mae) with Opera NUOVA in Edmonton. In the chorus at Pacific Opera Victoria, she appeared in Don Giovanni and Carmen, and looks forward to The Birds in February. Also to come in 2023 is a concert with the Victoria Chamber Orchestra, in which she will perform Elgar’s Sea Pictures. Cassidy has returned to Butchart Gardens’ Christmas season as a traditional caroller, which is what she is doing shortly before and after her trip to Salt Spring.
Cassidy Stahr, Mezzo-soprano
Adam Schmidt, tenor, completed two diplomas in performance and in pedagogy at the Victoria Conservatory of Music with Nancy Argenta and Ingrid Attrot before moving to Montreal to study with John MacMaster at McGill University. Just before the pandemic, Schmidt performed Haydn’s Paukenmesse with the Stewart Hall Singers, and since then he has been predominantly performing opera. During the two years of Covid restrictions, he sang Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Peter Quint in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, Emillio in Handel’s Partenope, and helped create the role of Claudio in James Garner’s new opera
Much Ado, all in association with Opera McGill. This Messiah brings him back home to the island and to British Columbia where he and his wife will be moving next year.
Adam Schmidt, Tenor
Kyron Basu is a versatile baritone with a repertoire ranging from Bach to Berio. He has appeared with groups such as Fretwork, the Victoria Baroque Players, Victoria Philharmonic Choir and Victoria Children’s Choir. Recent engagements include the role of Christus in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the Victoria Philharmonic Choir and Schubert’s Mass in G with the Linden Singers. He has frequently sung as a soloist with the University of Victoria Chorus and Orchestra, having performed Mozart’s Great Mass in C minor, Handel’s Utrecht Te Deum, as well as Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms and Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy. Kyron has performed under the baton of Helmuth Rilling at the Bach Weimar Cantata Academy, singing several of Bach’s sacred cantatas in Germany.
Kyron is also a passionate teacher and a member of the voice faculties of the University of Victoria and the Victoria Conservatory of Music.