‘Messiah’ performances open tonight in Glenwood
A favorite Roaring Fork Valley holiday tradition for 33 years now, the Aspen Choral Society presents four concert performances of Handel’s “Messiah” this week, opening tonight in Glenwood Springs.
There will be two downvalley concerts, at 7:30 p.m. tonight and Wednesday at the First United Methodist Church in Glenwood Springs. The two Aspen performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at St. Mary Catholic Church.
The performances combine Glenwood Springs and Aspen choirs, which have been rehearsing separately for the past several weeks. They will join forces, some 95 voices strong, accompanied by a 15-piece orchestra for this time-honored holiday tradition.
The annual production is under the direction of ACS conductor Ray Vincent Adams, and will feature numerous soloists performing the vocal arias that are part of Handel’s signature 1741 musical composition detailing the story of Jesus.
“We have several new players in the orchestra this year, many who are new to the valley,” Adams said. “It’s a mix of some local musicians and some from outside the valley.”
Returning orchestra members include concert master and first violinist Julian Hallmark of Los Angeles, and Aaron Lande, principal second violinist, who comes from the Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra.
Vocal soloists this year will be sopranos Gayle Mizner, Marni White, Stacey Weiss, Eileen Leland and Marti Begly; altos Katy Hone and Linda Kimmel; tenor Daniel Fosha; and basses Scott McCracken and Virgil Simon.
Adams said this year’s chorus is one of the best representations of the entire Roaring Fork Valley ever.
“It makes me very proud that we’ve made this a true valleywide effort,” he said.
While “Messiah” tells the story of Jesus from birth to resurrection, the Choral Society’s seasonal presentation only features the Christmas section. However, it adds the “Hallelujah Chorus,” which is part of the Easter section of the piece, as well as the familiar “Amen” chorus finale.
“After 33 years, people ask me if I’m tired of doing it,” Adams said. “But I have to say that every time I open up that score at the end of September, it’s like saying hello to an old friend.”
Donations to support the Choral Society’s work are asked at the door for each performance.
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AS OF THURSDAY, JUNE 17