Messiah Moments – Lifted to Another Place

The first time I sang Messiah was in 1984 when I joined the chorale. I had never before performed with a large symphonic chorus, and being at The Bushnell was an incredible thrill. The performance was exhilarating and more exciting than anything I had experienced as a violinist through my college years. Nearing the end of the performance, at the very end of the Amen when the sopranos sing the high A, something extraordinary happened. It was magical, electric, ecstasy, divine. And it wasn’t just me. At the end of the performance many of us just looked at each other and asked, “What just happened?” We were lifted to another place by the power of our voices. Indescribable. There’s nothing like your first time! – Gayle Amato, Soprano I, who has sung Messiah more than 10 times

Messiah Moments: Singing by Heart

#MessiahMoments: The Messiah concerts/rehearsals usually fall around my birthday, December 10th. My family and friends have voiced their disappointment at not being able to celebrate with me, but I’ve always insisted that getting dressed up and singing the Messiah at the Bushnell with the HSO on my birthday is one of the best ways to celebrate! Another great thing about having sung Messiah over 25 times over the years (I joined the Chorale in 1980) is that most of the time my eyes are out of the score and on the conductor. There’s nothing like singing Messiah by heart. – Eric Schulman, Tenor I, who has performed Messiah 28 times

Leading up to our December 10 Messiah performance, we will share thoughts from Chorale members about Handel’s Messiah. Watch facebook, twitter, and the website for our #MessiahMoments!

Messiah Moments: In the midst of Hallelujahs

#MessiahMoments: In 1951, I had just joined my High School Mixed Chorus. Toward the end of one of my first rehearsals, the director had us put away the music we’d been rehearsing, and had the students from the previous year sing something they’d learned from memory. This was my introduction to “Messiah”: sitting in the midst of the chorus with Hallelujahs being sung all around me in counterpoint. I had no idea music like that existed. I remember leaving the chorus room feeling awestruck. That feeling still remains after all the years, and all the “Messiahs” since then. – Clint Macgowan, Bass 1, who has lost count of how many times he has sung Messiah

Leading up to our December 10 Messiah performance, we will share thoughts from Chorale members about Handel’s Messiah. Watch facebook, twitter, and the website for our #MessiahMoments!

Bass-Baritone Soloist Brad Walker

American bass-baritone Brad Walker is currently a member of the Yale Opera Studio studying to receive his Artist Diploma, following a summer with Chautauqua Opera. As a member of The Chautauqua Opera company, Mr. Walker sang The Bonze in a national radio broadcast of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Jake in Douglas Moore’s The Ballad of Baby Doe, as well as being a featured soloist with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra. One of the 2014 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Boston District Winners, he also made his Lincoln Center debut last May in Dvorak’s Stabat Mater. The 2013-2014 season saw Mr. Walker return to the role of Colline in Puccini’s La Bohème, as well as debut Don Magnifico in Rossini’s La Cenerentola, both with Yale Opera. In addition, he debuted with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, and performed as King Melchior in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors with the Bridgeport Youth Symphony. The Chicagoland native is pursuing an Artist Diploma from the Yale School of Music after having received a Bachelor’s from Michigan State University and a Master’s Degree from the University of Kansas. In previous seasons, Mr. Walker has performed with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City and Des Moines Metro Opera. The many roles he has brought to life on stage include Orgon in Mechem’s Tartuffe, Mr. Peachum in Gaye’s The Beggar’s Opera, Olin Blitch in Floyd’s Susannah, Sir Roderick in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Ruddigore, and Guglielmo in Mozart’s Così fan tutte.