Handel’s Messiah

Sat, December 14, 2019 • 7:00PM

Christine Noel, conductor
Providence Singers, Christine Noel, artistic director
Andriana Chuchman, soprano
Marion Newman, alto
Isaiah Bell, tenor
Gregory Dahl, bass

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Christine Noel, Conductor
Artistic Director, Providence Singers

Christine Noel is delighted to return to the Rhode Island Philharmonic for the annual performance of Messiah with the Providence Singers. She recently conducted the Singers with orchestra in J.S. Bach’s Cantata 140, Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Mozart’s Vesperae solennes de confessore, and Haydn’s Nelson Mass. Dr. Noel  has led the Providence Singers through world premieres, commissions and, most recently, the Singers’ fourth commercial recording—Dan Forrest’s Requiem for the Living. She has served on the music faculty and as director of choral activities at Clark University, Worcester, and as musical director at Trinity Rep. She has prepared choruses for Larry Rachleff, Ann Howard Jones, Robert Page and Bramwell Tovey. She is founder and artistic director of the award-winning Rhode Island Children’s Chorus, which has performed at conventions of the American Choral Directors Association and the Music Educators’ National Conference and will make its debut at Carnegie Hall this season. An active guest conductor, festival clinician and adjudicator, she holds a master’s in music and Ph.D.  in conducting from Boston University, where she studied with Ann Howard Jones. She holds an undergraduate degree in music education from Rhode Island College, where she was awarded a grant from the Ridgway F. Shinn, Jr. Study Abroad Fund enabling her to spend a year of study at the Kodály Institute of Music in Kecskemét, Hungary. Dr. Noel completed the superior level of Italian studies at the Università degli Studi di Firenze and served as assistant conductor and vocal coach for two Italian choirs, Animae Voces and Coro Polifonico di Caricentro di Firenze.

Providence Singers

Founded in 1971, the Providence Singers under the direction of Christine Noel celebrates choral art through concerts of masterworks and contemporary works, creative collaborations, recordings of American choral treasures, new music commissions and education programs. In addition to an annual concert series, the Singers has made frequent guest appearances throughout the region, including annual concerts with the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra. The Singers performed with Kronos Quartet at FirstWorks, Dave Brubeck Quartet at Lincoln Center and Newport Jazz Festival, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, New Haven Philharmonic, Aurea Ensemble, Brown University Chorus and New Bedford Symphony. It released four CD recordings of contemporary choral compositions and presented a choral festival of American masterpieces underwritten by the National Endowment for the Arts. The Singers commissions new choral works through its Wachner Fund for New Music; recognizes national leaders in the choral profession through its New Rhythmus Award; and fosters community education and participation through vocal workshops, concert discussions, and community sings. It supports emerging talent through its Fassett Fellowships for young adult singers and through the Junior Providence Singers and Young Men’s Choral Festival. It was awarded the Jabez Gorham Award from the Arts and Business Council of Rhode Island in 2008 for “unwavering commitment to excellence, significant impact on the community, and success in organizational development.”

Andriana Chuchman, soprano

Andriana Chuchman made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Adina in L’Elisir d’Amore, and has since returned as Miranda in The
Enchanted Island, Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, and Valencienne in The Merry Widow. Other career highlights include Eurydice in a new production of Orphée et Eurydice, Zerlina in Don Giovanni and Yum-Yum in The Mikado. She also has appeared as Pat Nixon in Nixon in China with the Houston Grand Opera, Magnolia in Show Boat and Marie in La Fille du Regiment with the Washington National Opera, Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi with the Los Angeles Opera, Micaëla in La Tragédie de Carmen with the San Diego Opera, and Boonyi/India in the critically acclaimed world premiere of Jack Perla’s Shalimar the Clown with the Opera Theater of St. Louis, for which she received the 2017 Mabel Dorn Reeder Award.

Ms. Chuchman recently made her debut at the Lincoln Center White Lights Festival in staged performances of Pegolesi’s Stabat Mater along with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. She has also appeared at the Cincinnati May Festival in a performance of Bach’s Mass in B minor, with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in Brahms’s Requiem, the Rhode Island Philharmonic in Orff’s Carmina Burana, the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra in Mahler’s Symphony No.4 and as a guest on the Prairie Home Companion radio show.

In her native Canada, she made her debut at the Canadian Opera Company as Olympia in Les contes d’Hoffmann and has also appeared at the Edmonton Opera as Marie in La Fille du Regiment, and at the Manitoba Opera as Susanna in Le Nozze de Figaro and as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte. Concert performances have included engagements with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra.

Marion Newman, alto

In the upcoming season, Marion Newman stars in I Call Myself Princess: The Story of Tsianina Redfeather, a new musical play by Jani Lauzon, and Messiah with Symphony Nova Scotia. She makes her debut with the Edmonton Opera as the Mother in Hansel and Gretel. In addition, she performs in Anna Hostmann’s Singing the Earth with the Victoria Symphony, and has the title role of Dean Burry’s and Yvette Nolan’s Shanawdithit with Tapestry Opera/Opera at the Avalon.

On the concert stage, Ms. Newman performed with the Victoria Symphony, National Ballet of Canada, Portland Baroque Orchestra, CapriCCio Vocal Ensemble, The Elmer Iseler Singers, San Francisco Conservatory Orchestra, Kingston Symphony, Symphony Nova Scotia, Elora Festival Singers and the St. Lawrence Choir. Her extensive repertoire includes Manuel de Falla’s El Amor Brujo, Rossini’s Petite messe solennelle, Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Beethoven Ninth Symphony, Copland’s In The Beginning and Bach’s St John Passion, The Magnificat and Cantata No.4.

Ms. Newman appeared in world premieres of several operas and chamber works that speak to her First Nations identity, including the premiere of Bramwell Tovey’s song cycle Ancestral Voices with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, touring to Winnipeg, Toronto and Ottawa. She had roles in Jennifer Butler’s Klee Wyck Woman with Emily Carr String Quartet at ISCM World New Music Days; played Dr. Wilson in the premiere of Marie Clements’ and Brian Current’s powerful Missing with City Opera Vancouver/Pacific Opera Victoria; and was a soloist with the Regina Symphony Orchestra’s Forward Currents Festival.

Isaiah Bell, tenor

In October of 2018 Isaiah Bell created the role of Antinous, lover of the Roman emperor Hadrian, in the world premiere of Rufus
Wainwright’s Hadrian with the Canadian Opera Company. He also recently returned to Mark Morris’ acclaimed double-bill production of Curlew River/Dido and Aeneas at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, giving “a performance of exquisite poignancy” (The New York Times) as the Madwoman.

This past season, Isaiah made solo debuts at Carnegie Hall (Haydn’s The Creation, Handel’s Messiah), the Caramoor Festival (Handel’s Atalanta with Philharmonia Baroque), Opera Atelier (Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria), the Bethlehem Bach Festival and the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music. He also returns to the National Arts Centre for Britten’s War Requiem under Alexander Shelley, and performs Acis in Acis and Galatea with the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra

Other recent engagements include George Benjamin’s Written on Skin with the Toronto Symphony conducted by the composer; Messiah with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, and Toronto Symphony; Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Opéra-Théâtre de Metz Métropole, France; Strauss’s Elektra at Opéra de Montréal; and Handel’s Ode for St. Cecilia’s Day and Messiah, with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, San Francisco. Previously he appeared in Britten’s Owen Wingrave, at the Aldeburgh and Edinburgh festivals, Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang with Bramwell Tovey and the Vancouver Symphony, and Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette and a Decca recording of the Honegger/Ibert opera L’Aiglon

As a composer, Isaiah has written four operas—including the music and libretti for two operas for young audiences commissioned and toured by Opera NUOVA—and a number of song cycles and arrangements.

Gregory Dahl, bass

In 2019, Gregory Dahl made his debut in the title role of Der Fliegende Holländer in a new production for Opéra de Québec. During the 2018-19 season, Mr. Dahl appeared in the world premiere of Rufus Wainwright’s Hadrian with the Canadian Opera Company, joined Opéra de Montréal for Donner in Das Rheingold, sang Messiah with the Winnipeg Symphony and reprised the title role in Verdi’s Rigoletto for the Calgary Opera.

Recent roles include Macbeth (Kentucky Opera), George in Of Mice and Men (Manitoba Opera) and High Priest in Samson et Dalila (Opéra de Montréal). Highlights of past seasons include Sharpless in Madama Butterfly (Canadian Opera Company), Escamillo in Carmen (Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Virée Classique Festival), Ford in Falstaff and Amonasro in Aida (Opéra de Montréal), Sebastian in Ades’ The Tempest (Opéra de Québec) and Mandryka in Arabella (Metropolitan Opera). He has appeared as Jokanaan in Salomé, Count di Luna in Il trovatore, Alfio in Cavalleria rusticana, Tonio in Pagliacci, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, Capt. Corcoran in HMS Pinafore, Germont in La traviata, Hubbard in Regina, Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress and the title roles in Don Giovanni and Il barbiere di Siviglia.

Mr. Dahl first came to national attention as Francis Chancy in the world premiere of James Rolfe’s Beatrice Chancy. Other world premieres include John Estacio and John Murrell’s Filumena (Calgary Opera), Lillian Alling (Vancouver Opera) and Shalimar the Clown (Opera Theatre of St. Louis). Mr. Dahl has also created roles for Tapestry New Opera Works (Robert Peary in Smith’s Facing South and The Alchemist in Schafer’s The Palace of the Cinnabar Phoenix) and sang the role of George in the Canadian premiere of Heggie’s Dead Man Walking (Calgary Opera).