Handel’s Messiah, Winston-Salem Symphony’s Annual Holiday Classic Set for December 13 and 14

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (November 17, 2016) – The Winston-Salem Symphony’s annual performance of Handel’s Messiah will take place on Tuesday, December 13 and Wednesday, December 14. Widely regarded as music’s most powerful message of faith, this is the Symphony’s tenth year performing what has become a Triad holiday favorite. Conducted by Maestro Robert Moody, Music Director, Handel’s Messiah is a truly spiritual experience perfect for the holiday season.

The concerts will take place at 7:30 p.m. at Centenary United Methodist Church (646 W. Fifth St., Winston-Salem). Tickets are $15 – $47 and can be purchased online at WSsymphony.org or by phone 336-464-0145.

The Winston-Salem Symphony’s performances of the Messiah will feature guest singers

Margaret Carpenter Haigh, soprano; Daniel Moody, countertenor; Jonathan Blalock, tenor; Theo Hoffman, baritone as well as members of the Winston-Salem Symphony Chorale, under the direction of Dr. Christopher Gilliam.

Centenary United Methodist Church provides a beautiful, spiritual setting for the music with seasonal decorations including greenery, poinsettias and a large illuminated Moravian star. The musicians, the voices, and the location create a unique and magical experience.

“The Messiah is an extraordinarily moving piece of music,” says Moody. “No Christmas season is complete without it and I look forward to conducting it each year. I am excited that this year will feature a stellar group of professional guest singers, who will add to the beauty and magic of the performance.”

Hailed for her “clear, bright tone” (Cleveland Classical) and described as “fiery, wild, and dangerous” (Classical Voice North Carolina), soprano Margaret Carpenter Haigh is a versatile artist, with repertoire ranging from mediaeval to contemporary music. She has performed as a soloist with the Portland (Maine) Symphony Orchestra, Oxford Bach Soloists, Apollo’s Fire: The Cleveland Baroque Orchestra, Simon Carrington Chamber Singers, and Piedmont Baroque Consortium. Alongside her husband, organist and harpsichordist Nicolas Haigh, Carpenter Haigh is co-founder of L’Académie du Roi Soleil, an ensemble specializing in French music from the time of Louis XIV and with which she has performed in venues including York Minster; New College Chapel, Oxford; and Clare College Chapel, Cambridge. She holds degrees from the University of Cambridge, where she was a Gates Cambridge Scholar at Clare College, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is currently pursuing a doctorate at Case Western Reserve University where she studies with Ellen Hargis and Aaron Sheehan.

Countertenor Daniel Moody has garnered widespread acclaim for his commanding yet expressive vocal timbre and his breathtaking musicianship. Praised as having a “vocal resonance, [which] makes a profoundly startling impression” (The New York Times) and for his “vivid and powerful” voice (The Boston Musical Intelligencer), Moody is equally known for his “sweet and melancholy sound” (The Washington Post) and ability to “pierce hearts” and “utterly silence a room” (The Boston Musical Intelligencer). A graduate of the prestigious Yale Voxtet—resident at Yale’s Institute of Sacred Music—he has performed as a soloist at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, London’s St. John’s Smith Square and, Cambridge’s Trinity College, working closely with renowned conductors David Hill, Simon Carrington, Masaaki Suzuki, and Matthew Halls. His performances have been broadcast live in concert on BBC Radio 3 in the United Kingdom, and on Boston’s WGBH, Indiana’s WFIU, and WSHU’s Sunday Baroque. A graduate of the Peabody Conservatory (BM ’14), Moody has a Master’s Degree from the Yale School of Music and Institute of Sacred Music. He has won awards at the Handel Aria Competition, the New York Oratorio Society Competition, and the Russell Wonderlic Competition.

American tenor Jonathan Blalock, winner of the 2014 Agnes Varis Prize for Bel Canto from the Opera Orchestra of New York, recently triumphed as Prince Claus in the world premiere of Mark Adamo’s Becoming Santa Claus at The Dallas Opera. His critically acclaimed performance was broadcast to Lincoln Center and will be released on DVD later this year. Blalock’s busy 2015-2016 highlighted his diversity as an engaging singing actor in a wide range of roles including Almaviva (Il Barbiere di Siviglia) with Tri-Cities Opera, Ramiro (La Cenerentola) as a guest with Bob Jones University, Pang (Turandot) with Nashville Opera and Pacific Symphony, the title role in Candide with Emerald City Opera and The Electrician in Powder Her Face with West Edge Opera. Highly acclaimed for his work in 20th and 21st Century Opera, Blalock has appeared in a number of world premieres, including Huang Ruo’s An American Soldier with Washington National Opera, The Secret Agent with the Center for Contemporary Opera in NYC and the Armel Festival in Hungary; Jorge Martin’s Before Night Falls with Fort Worth Opera; and Paul’s Case with Urban Arias. In addition, he made his Virginia Opera debut as Cégeste in Philip Glass’ Orphée, and has sung with Fort Worth Opera in the same composer’s Hydrogen Jukebox.

Praised by the New York Times for his “concentrated and rich” baritone, New York-born Theo Hoffman joins LA Opera in 2016-2017 for its prestigious Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program. Hoffman will perform Josef K. in the American premiere of The Trial by Philip Glass at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in 2017. Last season, Hoffman made his debut with Atlanta Opera as Schaunard in La bohème and returned to The Juilliard School as a Master of Music candidate under the mentorship of Sanford Sylvan. Hoffman completed his Bachelor of Music degree at The Juilliard School, where he was the winner of the 2015 Juilliard Vocal Arts Honors Recital and was presented in recital at Alice Tully Hall. A fast-rising recitalist, Mr. Hoffman made his debut with the New York Festival of Song in 2013 in its Ports of Call program at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts and later performed at Carnegie Hall with the organization in its 2014 spring gala commemorating Leonard Bernstein. Hoffman made his first public appearance on the Metropolitan Opera stage in March as a Grand Finalist in the 2016 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions after winning in the Eastern Region. Mr. Hoffman is a 2015 third prize-winner in the Gerda Lissner Foundation’s International Vocal Competition, the International Crescendo Music Awards 2014 Silver Medalist, and the recipient of a Richard Gaddes Career Grant from the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.

These concerts are sponsored by Messiah Presenting Sponsor, Kilpatrick, Townsend & Stockton, LLP; as well as the Arts Council of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County and the North Carolina Arts Council.


About the Winston-Salem Symphony

The Winston-Salem Symphony, one of the Southeast’s most highly regarded regional orchestras, began its 70th anniversary performance season in September 2016. Under the baton of Music Director Robert Moody, the season includes a special 70th anniversary opening gala concert, Classics and Kicked-Back Classics series, Plugged-In Pops series, Discovery Concerts for Kids, annual performances of Handel’s Messiah, a concert featuring Winston-Salem Symphony and Youth Symphony musicians, holiday concerts, three youth orchestra ensembles, and a multitude of educational and community engagement programs. The Symphony is supported by Season Presenting Sponsor, Bell, Davis & Pitt, P.A. and generous funding from the Arts Council of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County, the North Carolina Arts Council, and other dedicated sponsors. For more information, visit WSsymphony.org.

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This project was supported by the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources. www.NCArts.org

The Winston-Salem Symphony receives operational funding from The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County

Educational initiatives made possible with funding by Wells Fargo, The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County and The Winston-Salem and Forsyth County Schools.