Handel's Messiah

Special Event

Rosary Cathedral

December 8, 2019

Concert Time: 4:00 pm

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Sara Jobin, conductor
Alaina Brown, soprano
Katherine Pracht, mezzo-soprano
Shawn Mathey, tenor
Keith Phares, baritone
Toledo Choral Society
Terra State Choral Society

Handel’s Messiah returns to the glorious acoustic of the Rosary Cathedral. The TSO joins forces with the Toledo Choral Society, Terra State Choral Society, and talented soloists in this holiday tradition. Last year’s performance sold out, so get your tickets to the Messiah of the season!

Handel's Messiah is made possible through the generous support of The LaValley Foundation.

Please contact the Box Office at 419.246.8000 for information on child/student ticket pricing.

Grammy-nominated conductor Sara Jobin has extensive experience in opera, and has broken the glass podium at several companies including in San Francisco with her debut in 2004.

From Anchorage to Avignon and Szeged to Shanghai, she has championed American composers and worked with singers at all levels, from community choruses to Wagnerian soprano Nina Stemme.

She has led from the podiums of San Francisco Opera, LA Opera, Arizona Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Baltimore Lyric Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, Opera Carolina, Anchorage Opera, and the Armel Opera Festival in Hungary and France.  Symphonic engagements have included Symphony Silicon Valley, Dayton Philharmonic, Bochumer Symphoniker, the Orchestra of St. Luke's, and three years as Resident Conductor of the Toledo Symphony.

Currently Artistic Director of the Center for Contemporary Opera in New York, Jobin's future and recent-past freelance schedule includes her Walt Disney Concert Hall debut with members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in a world premiere by Bryce Dessner in conjunction with Roomful of Teeth and the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation; Scalia/Ginsberg, an opera about a bipartisan friendship, with OperaDelaware; Center for Contemporary Opera's spring festival; a concert with the Edmonton Symphony; and Dead Man Walking at Opera Idaho in 2020.

Jobin resides in Richmond, Virginia.

Soprano Alaina Brown has been praised for her fine musicianship and exquisite coloratura.  She is gained National and International recognition for her interpretation of Handel and Mozart and most recent her dramatic performance of The Queen of the Night, from The Magic Flute.  The Cincinnati Post named her as, “The Young Artist to watch”, following her debut with the Cincinnati Opera as Frasquita in Carmen.

Ms. Brown made her European debut as Mary Stone in a new production of Douglas Moore’s, The Devil and Daniel Webster, in Palermo, Italy, under the baton of Maestro Danilo Lambordini.   She also released her first recording of rare oratorio works under the Bongiovanni label of Rome Italy.  Ms. Brown made her debut with Toledo Opera in the role of Clara in Porgy and Bess under the baton of Maestro James Meena.  Currently, Ms. Brown is a cast member of the International tour of Porgy and Bess and recently made her debut in the role of Clara and The Strawberry Woman at the Teatro Reggio, Torino, Italy.  Ms. Brown has made several appearances on the Detroit Opera House stage in roles such as: Der Vertraute from Elektra; Inez, from Il Trovatore; Lily and The Strawberry Woman from Porgy and Bess; Marianne from Der Rosenkavalier.  With the Great Lakes Lyric Opera, Ms. Brown sang the role of Aurora in the premier of William Grant Stills opera A Bayou Legend and the role of Adina in The Elixir of Love as well as Roselinda in Die Fledermaus.

 She has been a guest soloist with Shanghai International Choral League, Maestro Fred Sjoberg; The Dallas Symphony, Maestro Leslie Dunner; The Rackham Symphony Choir, Maestra Suzanne Mallare Acton; The Orchestra Filarmonica Siciliana Palermo Italy, Maestro Fabio Cuilla; The Festival Orchestra Graz, Austria and the Macomb Symphony.  Ms. Brown will make her role debut as Madame Lidoine from Dialogues of the Carmelites with Opera MODO this spring.

Mezzo-soprano Katherine Pracht’s engagements in 2018-2019 season included Stravinsky's Requiem Canticles with Leon Botstein and The Orchestra NOW as well as the role of Dunyasha in Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Tsar’s Bride in Russian at The Bard Festival; she reprised Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky with York Symphony, and sang role debuts with Madison Opera as Charlotte in A Little Night Music and Ottavia in Florentine Opera’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea. Performances in the 2019-2020 season include the role of Kate Julian in Britten’s Owen Wingrave for her debut with the Little Opera Theater of New York, the role of Linette in Opera Philadelphia‘s The Love for Three Oranges, mezzo-soprano solos in Richard Einhorn’s Voices of Light with the National Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorale, and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the York Symphony. In 2016-17, Pracht made her Kennedy Center debut as soloist in Philip Glass' Symphony No. 5 with The Washington Chorus, then recorded the piece in NYC with Trinity Wall Street for release this summer (2019). Ms. Pracht sang the US premiere of Richard Wernick's ...and a Time for Peace with Leon Botstein and the American Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, and created several roles in workshops of new operas: Florence Williams in a workshop of Susan Kander’s The News From Poems, Hester Prynne in Eric Sawyer's The Scarlet Professor, Eve in Julian Wachner and Cerise Jacobs’ Rev 23 for the Prototype Festival. Additionally, Ms. Pracht performed Bernstein’s Arias and Barcarolles accompanied by Bright Sheng and Michael Barrett for The Intimacy of Creativity 2017 Festival in Hong Kong, and then again for her debut with New York Festival of Song with Barrett and Steven Blier. Pracht sang the role of Lady Wang in Bright Sheng's Dream of the Red Chamber on tour in China, the role of Mariam in Sheila Silver's A Thousand Splendid Suns in workshop for American Opera Projects, a world premiere of Karl Jenkins' Sing! The Music was Given and a reprisal of The Armed Man at Carnegie Hall with Distinguished Concerts International New York, and her critically-acclaimed title role debut in Elizabeth Cree for Chicago Opera Theater by Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell.

Tenor Shawn Mathey has been heard in the most important and distinguished opera companies and music festivals in the world.  Mr. Mathey’s international career was launched in Frankfurt, Germany, where he was a member of the ensemble for four years.  He later joined the ensemble of the Zürich Opera while continuing his international guest appearances.  With 35 leading roles to his credit, he has appeared with the San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington National Opera (where he was chosen as Singer of the Year for his portrayal of Pylades in Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride), Houston Grand Opera, the Dallas Opera, Rome Opera, Paris Opera, Zürich Opera, the Salzburg Festival, Opera Hong Kong and the Frankfurt Opera among many others.  His debut in the United States was with the Toledo Opera where he sang Pinkerton in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, a role he reprised in Toledo in 2015.  Mr. Mathey has sung Messiah on numerous occasions with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra and has also performed the work with the San Francisco Symphony and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.  His commercial DVD recordings include Mozart’s Così fan tutte with the Salzburg Festival on the Decca label and Schumann’s Genoveva conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt on the Arthaus Musik label for Zürich Opera.

Mr. Mathey began his vocal studies as a teenager with his father, Tenor Richard Mathey.  He later earned his Master of Music Degree from Bowling Green State University and his Artist Diploma from the prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia where he studied with Bill Schuman.  He is a native and current resident of Bowling Green, where he lives with his wife, soprano and Bowling Green State University voice faculty member Sujin Lee, and their two daughters.

Opera News hails Keith Phares as a "mainstay of contemporary opera" and "an authentic contemporary-American-opera divo" with "an impressive gallery of finely-drawn character portraits". Highlights from the current season include a reprise of Elder Tull in Riders of the Purple Sage with Arizona Opera, Lord Mountjoy in Gloriana with Odyssey Opera and Thomas  Nangle in Ours with Opera on the Avalon at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Voice at Bowling Green State University.

In recent seasons he appeared as Dr. Ludwig Binswanger in the premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon's Ellen West with Opera Saratoga, Edward Kynaston in Carlisle Floyd's Prince of Players with Florentine Opera (recorded live for Naxos), Sam in Trouble in Tahiti with Lexington Philharmonic; made his debut with Los Angeles Opera as Roderick Usher and Hiram Otis in Gordon Getty's SCARE PAIR: Usher House/Canterville Ghost, Gasparo in Donizetti's Rita with Chicago Opera TheatreFord in Falstaff with Opera Omahaand Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro with Opera Maine. 

Keith Phares has appeared in leading roles with Washington National Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Seattle Opera, the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, São Paolo Symphony Orchestra, Santa Fe Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Boston Midsummer Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and elsewhere; in collaboration with Hal Prince, Francesca Zambello, Frank Corsaro, Paul Curran, Richard Hickox, Patrick Summers, Harry Bicket, Marin Alsop, Sir Colin Davis, Sir Thomas Allen, among others; and in recital with the Marilyn Horne Foundation, WordSong, Illuminarts and LyricFest. An ardent exponent of contemporary American opera, Phares sang Charlie in the premiere and recording of Jake Heggie's​ Three Decembers ​ opposite Frederica von Stade with Houston Grand Opera and San Francisco Opera, the Father in the premiere and recording of Gregory Spears’ ​Paul's Case​ with UrbanArias and PROTOTYPE, Elder Tull in the premiere of Craig Bohmler's ​Riders of the Purple Sage​, George Hurstwood in the premiere and recording of Robert Aldridge's ​Sister Carrie​ , and the title role in the premiere and live, Grammy-winning recording of Aldridge's ​Elmer Gantry.



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