Palm Beach Symphony To Present Handel’s Messiah

Adding to its already expanded and highly-anticipated 2022-2023 season, Palm Beach Symphony has announced it will present Handel’s “Messiah”conducted by Music Director Gerard Schwarz on Friday, Dec. 9 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 10 at 3 p.m. at the Rosarian Academy. Tickets are now on sale.

“When you look at the great masterpieces of the past, maybe the greatest of them all is this remarkable oratorio by George Frideric Handel, the ‘Messiah,’” said Maestro Schwarz. “It is loved by everyone and for good reason. It is loved because it is great, great music.”

Celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, his sacrifice for mankind and his resurrection, the work has become a fixture of the Christmas holiday season and its rousing “Hallelujah Chorus” is known the world over. During the 18th century, the aristocracy in England stood to hear the “Hallelujah Chorus”and that has now become a treasured tradition.

“When we start the ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ it is such a thrill to hear the audience stand up and pay homage to this fantastic choral work,” Maestro Schwarz said. “I look forward to welcoming everyone, whether you are a novice at the Messiah or someone who has heard it 10 times, to come and be part of our performance. The audience is an integral part of the performance. It’s not just us. It is all of us together.”

Internationally recognized for his moving performances, innovative programming, and extensive catalog of recordings, Maestro Schwarz is a leader both in the southeast region and globally. Locally, he is also the Music Director of the Frost Symphony Orchestra and the Distinguished Professor of Music, Conducting and Orchestral Studies at University of Miami’s Frost School of Music. Nationally, he is the Music Director of the All-Star Orchestra, Eastern Music Festival and Mozart Orchestra of New York as well as Conductor Laureate of the Seattle Symphony and Conductor Emeritus of the Mostly Mozart Festival. A prolific recording artist with 14 GRAMMY nominations, his extensive catalogue of more than 350 recordings on 11 labels includes The Gerard Schwarz Collection, a 30-CD box set. In his nearly five decades as a respected classical musician and conductor, Maestro Schwarz has received hundreds of honors and accolades including nine Emmy® Awards, eight ASCAP Awards and numerous Stereo Review and Ovation Awards. He holds the Ditson Conductor’s Award from Columbia University, was the first American named Conductor of the Year by Musical America and has received numerous honorary doctorates. His memoir, “Behind the Baton”, was released by Amadeus Press in March 2017.

For these concerts, Maestro Schwarz will be joined by Soprano Robyn Marie Lamp, Mezzo-Soprano Stephanie Doche, Tenor Jonathan Johnson and Bass-Baritone Richard Ollarsaba who perform the Handel’s dazzling vocal solos. The inspirational choral passages of “Messiah” are delivered by Florida Atlantic University Chamber Singers and Schola Cantorum of Florida under the direction of Chorus Master Patricia P. Fleitas, director of choral and vocal studies at FAU.

Robyn Marie Lamp made her Carnegie Hall debut in her 2018-19 season, singing the soprano solo in Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “Dona Nobis Pacem” and has performed with Boston Lyric Opera and in Florida with the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra, Gulfshore Opera, South Florida Symphony Orchestra, and Opera Fusion.

An award recipient from the Metropolitan Opera National Council, Stephanie Doche’s engagements in the 2022-23 Season include the title role in Handel’s “Ariodante” with Opera Neo, Rosina in “Il barbiere di Siviglia” with Florida Grand Opera, Nicklausse in “Tales of Hoffmann” with Opera Louisiane, and Isabella in “L’Italiana in Algeri” with St. Petersburg Opera.

In addition to Tenor Jonathan Johnson’s recent engagements in the title role of Bernstein’s “Candide” with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Utah Symphony Orchestra and Des Moines Metro Opera, he has appeared with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Canadian Opera Company, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Opera Philadelphia, San Diego Opera, Tulsa Opera, and Opera Omaha.

Mexican AmericanBass-baritone Richard Ollarsaba represented the USA in the 2019 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition and has appeared with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Wolf Trap Opera, Dallas Opera, Virginia Opera, Opera Omaha, Opera Philadelphia, North Carolina Opera and Minnesota Opera as well as internationally with New Zealand Opera, and Opera Hong Kong.

The Chamber Singers is the premier choral ensemble at Florida Atlantic University who perform on campus and in collaboration with the Delray Beach Chorale and the Delray Beach Chorale Chamber Ensemble. Schola Cantorum has performed in Palm Beach County since its founding in 1982 and, in 2016, established a partnership with the area of Choral and Vocal Studies at FAU as Ensemble in Residence.

These two “Messiah” performances join an already expanded season of six Masterworks concerts presented at the Kravis Center that will feature:Sarah Chang, violin (Nov. 6); Garrick Ohlsson, piano (Dec. 1) Susan Graham, mezzo-soprano (Jan. 30); Misha Dichter, piano (March 14); Joshua Bell, violin (April 16); and Maria João Pires, piano (May 15).

The Rosarian Academy is located at 807 N. Flagler Drive, West Palm Beach, FL 33401. Tickets to “Messiah” are $50 and may be purchased at PalmBeachSymphony.org, by calling (561) 281-0145, and at the Palm Beach Symphony Box Office weekdays from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at 400 Hibiscus Street, Suite 100, West Palm Beach.

Proud sponsors of Palm Beach Symphony include Max and Christine Ansbacher, Mrs. James N. Bay, JoAnne Berkow, David C. and Eunice Bigelow, Leslie Rogers Blum, James R. Borynack and Adolfo Zaralegui/Findlay Galleries, Braman Motorcars, Thomas and Carol Bruce, CIBC Private Wealth, The Colony Hotel, The Frederick A. DeLuca Foundation, Bill and Kem Frick/The Frick Foundation, Inc., Paul and Sandra Goldner, Peter and Felicia Gottsegen/Gottsegen Family Foundation, Irwin and Janet Gusman, Doris Hastings Foundation, John Herrick, Addison Hines Charitable Trust, George Hines, HSS Florida, IYC, Charles and Ann Johnson/The C and A Johnson Family Foundation, Barbara and William Karatz Fund/William Karatz and Joan G. Smith, Leonard and Norma Klorfine Foundation, Gary and Linda Lachman/The Lachman Family Foundation, Patricia Lambrecht, Lugano Diamonds, Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, The McNulty Charitable Foundation, David Moscow, NetJets, Palm Beach Design Masters, Patrick and Milly Park, PNC Private Bank, Lois Pope, Provident Jewelry, Ari Rifkin, Karen and Kenneth Rogers, Ronald Rosenfeld, David Schafer, Robin B. Smith, Dodie and Manley Thaler and the Thaler/Howell Foundation, Jerome and Carol Trautschold, and The Ann Eden Woodward Foundation/James and Judy Woods. Programs are also sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture, and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.

ABOUT PALM BEACH SYMPHONY 

Palm Beach Symphony is South Florida’s premier orchestra known for its diverse repertoire and commitment to community. Founded in 1974, this 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization adheres to a mission of engaging, educating, and entertaining the greater community of the Palm Beaches through live performances of inspiring orchestral music. The orchestra is celebrated for delivering spirited performances by first-rate musicians and distinguished guest artists. Recognized by The Cultural Council for Palm Beach County with a 2020 Muse Award for Outstanding Community Engagement, Palm Beach Symphony continues to expand its education and community outreach programs with children’s concerts, student coaching sessions and master classes, instrument donations and free public concerts that have reached more than64,000 students in recent years.  For more information, visit www.palmbeachsymphony.org.