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Voices of Omaha Presents Performance of Messiah

The Voices of Omaha presents its 42nd annual performance of Handel’s oratorio Messiah in the Holland Performing Arts Center’s Kiewit Concert Hall on Sunday, November 21st at 3pm. The concert is free and open to the public.



Conducted by artistic director Edward Hurd, more than 135 singers will be joined by acclaimed soloists Anne DeVries, soprano; Janet Carlsen Campbell, mezzo-soprano; Paul Koenig, tenor; and Terry Hodges, bass- baritone. An orchestra drawn from among Omaha’s finest musicians will accompany the performance.

“The marvelous acoustic of the Kiewit Concert Hall was designed for music such as this,” said Hurd. “No microphones or amplification – just singers and instrumentalists performing in a wonderful space just as did Handel.”

Continuing the Voices of Omaha’s quest for authenticity when performing Messiah, this year three of the solos will be sung from sources not normally used. “But who may abide the day of His coming,” usually performed by a bass, will be sung by the alto, the version inserted by Handel into the “Dublin Score.” Two of the traditional soprano solos will be replaced by alternate versions: “And lo, the angel of the Lord,” found in Handel’s manuscript in the Archbishop Marsh Library, Dublin, and “Rejoice greatly,” from Handel’s original manuscript.

The community is welcome to join the Voices of Omaha for this annual performance. No audition is required. Members commit to four of the six Sunday afternoon rehearsals, the dress rehearsal and performance, the performance dress code, a $20 membership fee, and a fundraising activity. Scores may be purchased at the rehearsal location. Rehearsals begin Sunday, October 10 at 2:00 PM in the Cassling Education Center at the Holland Performing Arts Center. Street parking is available. Enter through the Dodge Street stage door.

About Voices of Omaha

Over the past 40 years, the all-volunteer Voices of Omaha
has performed Messiah with orchestra and soloists in a variety of large local venues: Omaha Civic Auditorium, Orpheum Theater, Music Hall, and Witherspoon Concert Hall at the Joslyn Museum. They began performing in the Kiewit Concert Hall of the Holland Performing Arts Center in 2007.

Voices of Omaha’s first performance of Messiah took place December 14, 1969, in the Omaha Civic Auditorium, with Leota Sneed Strong conducting a chorus of over 135 voices accompanied by orchestra. Charter member Sharon Struve recalled, “I remember the arena filled with such an appreciative audience. I remember the excitement in the air. I remember the bass soloist who arrived after the performance had begun and insinuated himself through the choir and crowded past the playing violins to reach his chair in the front!” Artistic directors to follow Strong were: Thomas Brantigan, Michael Dryver, Z. Randall Stroope, Greg Zilke, and Stanley E. Schmidt.

Fundraising to support its annual gift to the community of a Messiah performance has grown over the years. Voices of Omaha was incorporated as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization in 1970. A $20 membership fee helps pay minimal gratuities for soloists, orchestra, and artistic director. “Additional funding is received from a free-will offering and sales of Red Wheel products,” said Steve Laire, president of the Voices of Omaha board of directors. “I have never seen a more enthusiastic and dedicated bunch of people as the Voices of Omaha singers.”

The 2010 performance is made possible in part through private grants received from Paul and Oscar Giger Foundation, Gilbert M. and Martha H. Hitchcock Foundation, and Whitmore Charitable Trust.

-end- metroMAGAZINE



Nov 20, 2010 06:39 pm
 Posted by  galway


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