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Hyde Park Community Embraces The Holiday Season with Handel’s “Messiah” Featuring Over 150 Voices

With special guest soloists, the majestic annual event fills Rockefeller Memorial Chapel on December 3, 2010.

Chicago, IL, November 14, 2010 --( The University of Chicago Chorus and Motet Choir will join the Rockefeller Chapel Orchestra, and special guests for the annual performance of George Frideric Handel’s Messiah in Hyde Park on Friday, December 3rd at 8:00 pm at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel (5850 S. Woodlawn Avenue, Hyde Park). James Kallembach conducts. Undergraduates, graduates, faculty, staff, and singers from the University and Hyde Park unite to fill Rockefeller Memorial Chapel with over 150 voices.

A tradition in Hyde Park since 1930, this year’s performance will feature soloists Kimberly Jones (soprano), Wilbur Pauley (bass-baritone), Lon Ellenberger (countertenor), and Matthew Dean (tenor) to perform the beloved collection of compassionate arias and lively choruses in the magnificent setting of Rockefeller Memorial Chapel. Ms. Jones is an alum of the Ryan Opera Center and sings the National Anthem for the Chicago Bulls. Mr. Pauley’s voice can be heard on many Disney soundtracks, including The Hunchback of Notre Dame. He is currently performing the role of “Snug” from William Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Mr. Ellenberger has appeared in the role of the “Spirit” in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with the Chicago Opera and returns for another year as the lead countertenor in The University of Chicago’s Messiah. Mr. Dean is the founding member of Golosa Russian Choir, and the program director for Sounds of Faith initiative and documentaries. Collectively, these special guests will add to another memorable and spiritual concert.

Handel’s Messiah is not only the most widely performed of Handel’s works, but is arguably one of the most popular compositions in the entire oratorio genre. Upon reading the scriptures from the Old and New Testaments compiled by literary scholar Charles Jennens, the composer was overcome by their power and composed the complete work in a mere 24 days, often feeling close to seeing the face of God in the music. In symphonic celebration, the Messiah recounts the life of Jesus from birth to crucifixion and finally resurrection, interweaving vocal and orchestral performance to create an uplifting, spiritual experience. The full orchestral textures and subtle choral nuances emphasize the theme of redemption and salvation, while the prominent role of the brass in the piece generates a sonic impact far beyond that of most other oratorios.

With a world-class musical cast to date in the history of the Rockefeller Memorial Chapel performances, this year’s Messiah promises a sonically memorable and spiritually inspiring experience.

Ticket sales begin on Monday, November 22nd at 10 am and can be purchased by calling the ticket hotline at 773.702.9075. Please note: this concert frequently sells out.

Quick Facts

Handel’s Messiah, performed by the University of Chicago Chorus, Motet Choir,
Rockefeller Chapel Orchestra, and special guests

Friday, December 3, 2010 at 8 pm

Rockefeller Memorial Chapel
University of Chicago Campus
5850 S. Woodlawn Avenue

George Frideric Handel’s Messiah

$35 Chancel // $25 Front Nave // $20 General // $10 Students

*Please note that unclaimed Front Nave seating will open to general admission at 7:55pm.

Ticket Hotline: 773.702.9075
Ticket sales begin Monday, November 22

Persons who may need assistance should call 773.702.8484 in advance of the event.

Contact Information
University of Chicago Department of Music
Rashida N. Black

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