Handel's Messiah

  • Dec 05, 2009 7:30 PM
  • Rozsa Center

George Frideric Handel's "Messiah" will be performed by the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra, the Michigan Tech Concert Choir, and soloists Ann Campbell, Lara Neves, Charles White and Gregory Campbell. Joel Neves, music director of the Keweenaw Symphony, will conduct.

The 63-voice choir, under the direction of Susan Byykkonen, and Neves' select 41-member oratorio orchestra have been polishing Handel's work, including "Every Valley Shall Be Exalted," "The Glory of the "Lord," "All We Like Sheep," "Worthy is the Lamb," "Hallelujah" and more.

The most recent performance of "Messiah" at the Rozsa Center was in 2005.

This year's performance introduces the community to mezzo-soprano Lara Neves and showcases three other soloists well-known for their excellence in performances with the Pine Mountain Music Festival (PMMF) and in other settings

Lara Neves graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor's degree in vocal performance, then continued vocal studies under renowned mezzo-soprano Gail Dubinbaum. Her performances include First Lady in "The Magic Flute" and Rosalinde in "Der Fledermaus," with roles in "Tales of Hoffmann," "The Marriage of Figaro" and other operas. This is her fourth performance as soloist for the "Messiah." She is active in the National Association of Teachers of Voice. She moved to Houghton this fall from Utah with her husband, Joel, and their family.

Soprano Ann Campbell has performed many roles in PMMF opera productions, including Mrs. Gleaton in "Susannah," Berta in "The Barber of Seville," Annina in "La Traviata," Polly in "The Children of the Keweenaw" and Mother in "Hansel and Gretel." She has served as chorus master and children's chorus master for PMMF productions. She also performs in PMMF’s school outreach program, "OPERation Imagination." Campbell has taught music in the Houghton-Portage Township Schools since 1981 and maintains a private voice studio.

Tenor Charles White's musical career spans many genres. He has been chorus master for PMMF productions and sang the role of Pat in the premiere of "The Children of the Keweenaw." He is also director of the Copper Country Chorale, where he recently sang the Judas Maccabeus solos in the Handel oratorio. He will direct the chorale's performance of Benjamin Britten's "Ceremony of Carols," featuring harpist Jon Manno, on Dec. 13. White also plays jazz piano with the Realtime Jazz Band, timpani with the KSO and Brazilian drums with the Batucobre Samba Band, which he directs.

Baritone Gregory Campbell has sung numerous roles with the PMMF and Studio North Opera, including Marquis Daubigny in "La Traviata," Spinelocco in "Gianni Schicchi" and Captain Dillon in "The Children of the Keweenaw." He has performed Papageno in "The Magic Flute," King Melchior in the KSO’s production of "Amahl and the Night Visitors," and he has been a soloist in productions of "Messiah" and Haydn's "Paukenmesse." He is music director and cantor for Gloria Dei Lutheran Church and maintains a private voice studio.