These concerts are dedicated to the memory of Nick Cardi of Cardi’s Furniture & Mattress.
Arguably the most famous and widely performed piece of music in history, Handel’s Messiah is still guaranteed to astonish and impress. While many of us can sing melodies of this great work by heart – the history, construction, and intricacies of the piece remain a mystery. Writing the work in a mere 23 days, Handel first performed the music in Dublin, not its now famous home in London. A piece devoted to telling the story of the Messiah, the libretto shockingly never mentions him by name. While the “Hallelujah Chorus” is seen by many as the pinnacle of the work, it is only after this famous movement that Handel really get going and pulls out all the stops – employing countless special techniques not used in the first 85% of the work. It is also the music to the soprano aria “I know that my Redeemer liveth” that graces Handel’s gravestone, not the “Hallelujah Chorus.” It is a complex but stunning work that demands regular performances, so that one can continually add reasons to love and appreciate it.
Soprano Elisabeth Swanson has been praised for her “radiant purity” and “intimate, natural expression” (Boston Classical Review). Based in Boston, she is currently a staff singer with All Saints Episcopal, Brookline. As a soloist and chorister, she has sung with Kinnara Ensemble, The Quincy Choral Society, Newburyport Choral Society, Boston Cecilia, Atlanta Master Chorale, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, The Cathedral of St. Philip Atlanta, and the Middle Georgia Choral Society. Highlights of her recent solo appearances include Brahms’s Ein Deutsches Requiem , Runestad’s The Hope of Loving , J.S. Bach’sFuneral Anthem for Queen Caroline, Handel’s Messiah , and Kodály’s Missa Brevis . Elisabeth has performed at both Durham and Salisbury Cathedral in England, Carnegie Hall, and St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Macon, Georgia, and has participated in masterclasses with Jonathan Johnson, Mary Dibbern, and Dawn Padula. She received her Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from Mercer University and is currently pursuing a Master of Music in Voice Performance at BostonConservatory at Berklee.
Baritone Devon Russo is celebrated for his “brilliant” and “booming” baritone voice.Devon performs frequently as a soloist and ensemble member in Opera, Contemporary Music, and Early Music throughout the United States. Onstage, he has performed the roles of Sam (Trouble in Tahiti), Arbas (Cadmus et Hermione), The Drunken Poet (The Fairy-Queen), Oloferne (La Giuditta), Papageno (Die Zauberflӧte), and the title roles in Gianni Schicchi, Le Carnaval Mascarade and Dido and Aeneas. With a particular love for Handel’s operas and oratorios, he has sung Tirenio (Il Pastor Fido), Manoah (Samson), Farasmane (Radamisto) and Argante (Rinaldo). He has performed with the Boston Lyric Opera, Odyssey Opera, Opera in Williamsburg, Opera Providence, and Salt Marsh Opera. He has sung the baritone solos in Faure’s Requiem, Paukenmesse, Five Mystical Songs, Fantasia on Christmas Carols, Finzi’s In Terra Pax, Carmina Burana, Weihnachts-Oratorium, Elijah and Messiah. Devon has taken part in Young Artist Program with the Boston Early Music Festival, the Seraphic Fire Professional Choral Institute at the Aspen School of Music, Haymarket Opera Company, the Baroque Opera Workshop at Queen’s College, the Amherst Early Music Festival, Nahant Music Festival, and the Manhattan Opera Studio. He has performed with the Voces8 Choral Scholars, Quicksilver, the Oratorio Society of New York, Brevitas, Musica Dolce, the Cantata Singers, and the Blacksburg Master Chorale. A passionate educator, he is currently a part of the voice faculty at Providence College, the Community College of Rhode Island, and the Rhode Island Philharmonic Music School. Devon earned his Master’s in Vocal Performance from the Manhattan School of Music and Bachelors in Vocal Performance from the University of Rhode Island and is currently reading towards his Doctorate of Musical Arts at Boston University.
Tenor Ethan Depuy has been praised for his “masterful acting” and “fine singing.” Ethan brings his unique dramatic style to works ranging from the Baroque era to now.
DePuy’s career began on the operatic stage, where his list of credits includes Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore, Peter Quint in The Turn of the Screw, Alfred in Die Fledermaus, the title role in Albert Herring, Don Basilio in Le nozze di Figaro, Jaquino in Fidelio, King Kaspar in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Elder Gleaton in Susannah, Chevalier de la Force in Dialogues of the Carmelites, and Motel the Tailor in Fiddler on the Roof. He has performed throughout North America with companies including Chautauqua Opera, Charlottesville Opera, Brevard Music Center, Arizona Lyric Opera Theater, Opera Sacra, and Odyssey Opera. As a member of Boston Opera Collaborative, he recently premiered the role of Robert in Tony Solitro’s A Case of Anxiety.
Mr. DePuy has also established himself as a presence on the concert stage, where highlights of recent seasons include performances of Bach’s St. John Passion, St. Matthew Passion, Easter Oratorio, Handel’s Israel in Egypt and Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem, Solemn Vespers, Mass in C Minor, and Coronation Mass, Schubert’s Mass in G, Haydn’s Seven Last Words, Rachmaninoff’s All Night Vigil, Stravinsky’s Mass, Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostri, Charpentier’s Messe de Minuit, the Evangelist in Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, and the title role in Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus. He recently debuted with American Bach Soloists in San Francisco performing solos in Bach’s Mass in B Minor and Trauerode cantata.
A native of Rochester, NY, Ethan has appeared as soloist on several commercially released albums, including James Kallembach’s Most Sacred Body (Gothic Label) and Jeremy Gill’s Before the Wresting Tides (BMOP/sound). He currently serves as Co-Artistic Director of Opera Theater of Cape Cod.
Mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Eschen makes her home in Boston, where she enjoys singing with Handel & Haydn Society, Emmanuel Music, and Boston Baroque. She has appeared as soloist in the area with Back Bay Chorale, Music at Marsh Chapel, Cantata Singers, Newburyport Chorale, Quincy Choral Society, Harvard Choruses, and in 2019-2020 will be seen with Rhode Island Civic Chorale (Messiah,) Indian Hill Music (Bach Magnificat,) and Back Bay Chorale (Elijah.) Outside of Boston, she regularly performs with Bach Akademie Charlotte and Oregon Bach Festival, and was grateful to spend three concert series in Germany under the baton of Helmuth Rilling (Weimar Bach Academy, Rilling Choir in Schwäbisch-gmünd.) She can be heard on many recordings with Vox Futura, as well as James Kallembach’s Most Sacred Body (soloist) and the Studio Cast Album of Alan Menken’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. As a vocal technician, Elizabeth is a fierce advocate for vocal function education and has been teaching over a decade. She has built several voice programs that support choral music with vocal pedagogy, and is in her fifth year doing so as the Director of the Holden Voice Program at Harvard University.
Saturday, December 7, 2019, 7:30 PM
McVinney Auditorium on the grounds of the Cathedral of Sts. Peter & Paul, Providence, RI
Sunday, December 8, 2019, 3:00 PM
St. Ann Arts and Cultural Center, Woonsocket, RI