Edward Polochick leads Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Concert Artists of Baltimore Symphonic Chorale in Handel’s Messiah, Friday, December 5
Baltimore, Md. (November 21, 2008)– Edward Polochick leads the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Concerts Artists of Baltimore Symphonic Chorale in George Frederic Handel’s glorious oratorio, Messiah, on Friday, December 5 at 7:30 p.m. at Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. The BSO celebrates its 26th year performing Messiah under the direction of Edward Polochick, who conducts the entire work from the harpsichord. See below for complete concert details.
“There are fewer and fewer keyboard conductors. It’s a shame that the art of conducting from the keyboard is becoming so rare. In Handel’s time it was the norm,” explains Polochick. “I find that it brings me into the orchestra. We’re all in this together. Like performing chamber music. People ask, ‘How can I direct without standing up with a baton in my hand?’ I can show how I want it played with my own playing. I create moods with sound, which is much better than with gestures.”
The BSO has collaborated with Edward Polochick for performances of Messiah since 1982. Polochick asserts that he enjoys each successive performance even more than the last. “My basic conception of it has not changed, but it has evolved over time. There are thousands of decisions to make about every detail of dynamics, articulation, ornamentation and phrasing. Every year we find new insights, and tweak a few of our old ideas. We have many of the same performers who have been with us every year since the beginning, so we have a great sense of continuity. You cannot learn this score quickly. It evolves. The combination of this continuity, along with a little 'new blood' each year, is the ideal recipe. It would be almost impossible to recreate this Messiah anywhere else.”
The “new blood” that enhances this year’s Messiah includes a full line-up of world-renowned soloists. Soprano Amanda Forsythe lends what Opera News describes as “wonderful agility and silvery top notes” to the virtuosic passages of Handel’s work. This year, mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke also performs with Metropolitan Opera, English National Opera and joins the Baltimore Symphony again later this season for Bernstein’s Opening Prayer. Tenor Bryan Hymel won First Prize in the 2008 Licia Albanese/Puccini Foundation Competition and several other prestigious competitions. Finally, baritone Stephen Powell has honed his skills through performances with opera companies around the country, including Los Angeles Opera and New York City Opera.
About Concert Artists of Baltimore
Now in its 22nd season, Concert Artists of Baltimore consists of a professional chamber orchestra and chamber chorus. The full ensembles perform at the Gordon Center and the Lyric, and there is a chamber music series at The Engineers Club in Baltimore. CAB is frequently hired by other organizations such as The Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, Temple Oheb Shalom, St. Louis Church, The Holocaust Museum in Washington DC, The Visionary Arts Museum, Elizabethtown College, Catholic Charities and the Baltimore Symphony, to name a few. If larger forces are needed, such as when the singers of Concert Artists perform Messiah with the Baltimore Symphony each year, the chorus expands to the Concert Artists Symphonic Chorale.
Edward Polochick, Artistic Director, Concert Artists of Baltimore
Edward Polochick is Artistic Director of Concert Artists of Baltimore. The 2008-2009 Season also marks his eleventh season as Music Director of Lincoln's Symphony Orchestra in Nebraska. From 1979 to 1999 he was on the staff of the Baltimore Symphony as Director of the Symphony Chorus, andsince 1979 he has been at the Peabody Conservatory as Associate Conductor of the Orchestra, Director of Choral Ensembles and Opera Conductor. An accomplished pianist and harpsichordist, he has appeared as piano soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Since winning the Leopold Stokowski Conducting Award and conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra, Edward Polochick has attracted attention as an orchestral, operatic and choral conductor. His appearances have included the Baltimore Symphony, Houston Symphony, Chautauqua Symphony, the Opera Company of Philadelphia, the Aalborg Symphony of Denmark, Omaha Symphony, Modesto, CA Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, Daejeon Philharmonic (Korea), St. Petersburg Symphony (Russia) and the State of Mexico Symphony Orchestra in Toluca, Mexico.
Amanda Forsythe, soprano
Amanda Forsythe has been praised by Opera News for her "light and luster,” "wonderful agility and silvery top notes.” She has been a winner of the George London Foundation Awards and was recently sponsored by them in her New York recital début. She has also received prizes from the Liederkranz Foundation and the Walter W. Naumburg Foundation. In August 2007, Ms. Forsythe made her European debut, singing Corinna in Il Viaggio a Reims at the Rossini Festival in Pesaro. Following her success in Pesaro, she was immediately engaged at the Grand Théâtre de Genève as Dalinda in Handel’s Ariodante, where she was proclaimed “the discovery of the evening” (Financial Times). She reprised this role in January 2008 at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, stepping into David Alden's acclaimed production on one day's notice. Ms. Forsythe can be heard as Minerve and La Grande Pretresse on The Boston Early Music Festival’s premiere recording of Lully’s Thésée, a “Best Opera Recording” nominee for the 2008 Grammy Awards. Ms. Forsythe created the role of Young Margarita in Osvaldo Golijov's Ainadamar and later reprised the role with The Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disney Hall.
Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano
Among her exciting appearances this season, Ms. Cooke sings at the Metropolitan Opera in the role of “Kitty Oppenheimer” in the New York premiere of John Adams’ Doctor Atomic, and sings the same role with English National Opera in her European debut. She sings Handel’s Messiah with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and with the Oratorio Society of New York at Carnegie Hall. She also performs Bernstein’s Opening Prayer with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under Marin Alsop. In the 2008, she appeared as Olga in Tchaikovsky’s Evgeny Onegin with the Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv and participated in the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont. Cooke is a member of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program of the Metropolitan Opera. At the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, Ms. Cooke was also honored with the Rhoda Walker Teagle Prize, which sponsored her New York debut; the Fergus First Prize; the Swiss Global Artistic Foundation Award; and the Embassy Series Concert Prize.
Bryan Hymel, tenor
New Orleans native Bryan Hymel is the First Prize Winner of the 2008 Licia Albanese/Puccini Foundation Competition, the 2008 Loren L. Zachary Vocal Competition and the 2008 Giulio Gari Foundation Competition. He is currently a third year resident artist at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia where he has sung Boris in Kat’a Kabanova, Araquil in Massenet’s La Navarraise, Max in Der Freischütz and Alfredo in La traviata. This season he sang Luigi in Il tabarro and Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi with New Orleans Opera, and a New York recital with Michelle DeYoung under the auspices of the George London Foundation (Mr. Hymel won the George London Award in 2007). In March, Mr. Hymel made his Carnegie Hall debut with Opera Orchestra of New York in a gala concert that also featured Renée Fleming, Marcello Giordani, and Dolora Zajick. Future engagements include: opening the new Opera House at the Wexford Festival as the Tsar in Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Snow Maiden, Cavardossi in Tosca with Opéra National de Bordeaux, Guido in A Florentine Tragedy and Arturo in I Puritani with Greek National Opera, and the Prince in Rusalka with Boston Lyric Opera. Recently, Mr. Hymel joined Madison Opera for “Opera in the Park,” made his debut with Palm Beach Opera as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, and sang Guido in Zemlinsky’s A Florentine Tragedy at the Bard Festival under the direction of Leon Botstein.
Stephen Powell, baritone
In the 2008-09 season, Mr. Powell sings the roles of Germont in La Traviata and Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, both with Los Angeles Opera, and as soloist in Carmina Burana with both the Phoenix Symphony and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. He made his San Francisco Opera debut in the 2007-08 season as Sharpless; sang Ford in Falstaff with New York City Opera; appeared with the Washington Concert Opera as Riccardo in I puritani, conducted by Antony Walker; performed with the North Carolina Symphony as Count in Le nozze di Figaro, conducted by Grant Llewellyn; sang with Arizona Opera as Germont and with Hawaii Opera Theatre as Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia. In 2007, Stephen Powell sang Carmina Burana with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Robert Spano, and at the Aspen Music Festival, conducted by David Zinman; Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Mann Music Center, and at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, with conductor Rossen Milanov.
COMPLETE CONCERT DETAILS
Classical Concert: George Frederic Handel’s Messiah
Friday, December 5, 2008 at 7:30 p.m. – Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Concert Artists of Baltimore Symphonic Chorale
Edward Polochick, conductor
Amanda Forsythe, soprano
Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano
Brian Hymel, tenor
Stephen Powell, baritone
Tickets for these performances range from $20 to $60. Tickets are available through the BSO Ticket Office, 877.BSO.1444, 410.783.8000 or BSOmusic.org.