G. F. Handel’s Messiah – Complete

The only complete RI performances of Handel’s glorious Messiah!

Messiah Soloists

Welcome to the 61st season of the Rhode Island Civic Chorale & Orchestra. For its traditional kickoff to the Holiday Season, the Chorale returns to its biennial offering of G. F. Handel’s masterpiece in its uncut version in three parts. The narration begins with the Prophecy of Jesus’ birth, continues through the Passion and ends with Redemption. The performance features a cast of superb soloists, first-rate professional orchestra and the enthusiastic and talented members of the Chorale. You won’t want to miss this performance of one of the most beloved of all choral works. The story is oft told, the music seldom equaled.

Kelley Hollis, Soprano

Kelley Hollis is a singing actress who is swiftly garnering the attention of the classical community with her intriguing voice and unique interpretations of contemporary works.
In June 2016, Kelley made her European debut performing a series of recitals as a featured artist with festival Americké jaro in the Czech Republic.  In 2015, Ms. Hollis made her Boston Symphony Hall debut as the soprano soloist in Mahler’s 2nd Symphony, performing with the BU Symphony Orchestra under the baton of David Hoose.  Last Spring, Ms. Hollis sang the soprano solo for Faure’s Requiem with the Rhode Island Civic Chorale under the baton of Maestro Edward Markward.  Ms. Hollis’ other concert repertoire include Honegger’s King David, Handel’s Messiah, Brahm’s Requiem, as well as Mozart’s Requiem.  
In 2014, Ms. Hollis was a finalist for Lyric Opera Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center and in 2013 she was a semi-finalist in the Shreveport Opera Singer of the Year Competition.  In 2011 Kelley received an encouragement award from the Wisconsin District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council.   Ms. Hollis is a graduate of the Boston University Opera Institute. Her credits with the company include the title role in Daniel Catan’s Florencia en el Amazonas, Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Eliza in Nico Muhly’s Dark Sisters, Micaela in Le Tragedie de Carmen, and Harper in Peter Eötvös’ Angels in America.

Megan Roth, Mezzo-Soprano

Known for her “rich character portrayals” and “versatile voice,” mezzo-soprano Megan Roth is an avid performer of opera, oratorio, and art song. Most recently, Megan performed in Little Women with MetroWest Opera, and was praised for her “warm and sonically sumptuous Meg.” Other recent engagements include alto soloist in Bach’s B Minor Mass and Gretchaninov’s Passion Week, both with the Bach Chorale Singers of Lafayette, Indiana, soloist in de Falla’s El amor brujo with the New Hampshire Music Festival, and alto soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Rhode Island Civic Chorale and Orchestra. Megan was a 2014 finalist in The American Prize Competition, both in the Chicago Oratorio Award and Opera Division categories. Megan is also the founder and artistic director of Calliope’s Call, a professional art song performance group based in New England, which travels the country presenting unique and exciting programs of art song. 
As an active collaborative musician, Megan has performed with several renowned national ensembles including the Grammy-winning ensemble Conspirare out of Austin, Texas, Seraphic Fire, Vox Humana, Yale Choral Artists, Cincinnati Vocal Arts Ensemble, Skylark Vocal Ensemble, and Boston Baroque. 

Jesse Darden, Tenor

Award-winning tenor Jesse Darden is based in Boston, Massachusetts.  Jesse spent his 2012 and 2013 summers as a Studio Artist with Chautauqua opera. He received the Chautauqua Opera Studio Artist award and returned in 2014 as an Apprentice Artist. In 2015 Jesse was a Regional Finalist with the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and won Third Prize in the Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition. Jesse spent his 2015 summer as a Young Artist with Opera North, singing martin in The Tender Land and covering Belmonte in The Absuction from the Seraglio.  Jesse was named an Emerging Artist for 2016-17 with Boston Lyric Opera and he has performed roles and solos with Odyssey Opera, Dartmouth College, the Rhode Island Civic Chorale and Orchestra, Boston University Opera Institute, Piedmont Opera and Chautauqua Opera.  In 2017 Jesse will also join the Santa Fe Opera as an Apprentice Artist.

John Allen Nelson, Baritone

Irish-American Baritone John Allen Nelson is on the rise to great success. His rich voice with an exciting, visceral top register, paired with his clean musicality and a dashing stage persona always makes him an audience favorite.
In recent seasons, Mr. Nelson has appeared with Minnesota Opera, performing Schaunard in La Bohème, Mandarin in Turandot, and Zimmerkellner in Arabella. As a Young Artist with Opera Colorado, he sang the roles of Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro, the Old Gypsy in Il Trovatore, the Father in Hansel and Gretel, and Zuniga in Carmen. While with Des Moines Metro Opera as an Apprentice Artist he covered for Don Giovanni, a role he performed at UMKC, and with the Brevard Music Festival he sang Belcore in L’Elisir d’Amore and Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro.
Baritone John Allen Nelson is fequently seen on the Minnesota Opera stage. He recently completed the first workshop performance of Kevin Puts’ world premiere opera The Manchurian Candidate, where he sang the Defense Secratary. Other performances with Minnesota Opera are Zimmerkellner in Arabella,  the Mandarin in Turnadot, where the St. Paul Pioneer Press noted “particularly strong singing..” with regards to his performance.


Saturday, November 25, 2017, 7:30 PM
Cathedral of Saints Peter & Paul, Providence

Sunday, November 26, 2017, 3:00 PM
St. Ann Arts and Cultural Center, Woonsocket, RI