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Two performances of Handel’s ‘Messiah’ in December
Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Daniel Bubeck
Daniel Bubeck

Elisa Doughty
Elisa Doughty

Joe Dan Harper
Joe Dan Harper
Aaron Engebreth
Aaron Engebreth
A holiday standard, Handel’s “Messiah,” is coming to SUNY Fredonia with two performances on Wednesday, Dec. 5 and Thursday, Dec. 6, both at 7:30 p.m., in the Juliet J. Rosch Recital Hall.
 
It is believed to be the area’s only complete performance of the perennial favorite, and will have a distinct Baroque flavor.
 
Conducting the work will be Dr. Gerald T. Gray of the School of Music faculty. Members of the Western New York Chamber Orchestra and the Fredonia College Choir will be featured in addition to soloists including soprano Elisa Doughty, countertenor Daniel Bubeck, baritone Aaron Engebreth, and tenor Joe Dan Harper from the School of Music faculty.
 
Dr. Gray noted the unique qualities of this production, "The soloists are baroque specialists, the choir has rehearsed extraordinary detail in the choruses, and the orchestra is the cream of the crop of the Western New York Chamber Orchestra who will be playing with Baroque bows. From an interpretive standpoint I believe ‘Messiah’ to be music of the theater, in the same style as Handel’s operas. Our performance moves along quickly with attention to the larger ideas of the work. We clock in at about two and one half hours. That’s an hour shorter than most performances.”
 
The last time “Messiah” was performed on campus, the event sold out well in advance. Tickets for this year’s performances are available from the Central Ticket Office in the Williams Center on campus, and information by calling (716) 673-3501. Tickets are $18 for the general public, and $10 for students with ID.
 
Daniel Bubeck made his professional debut to critical acclaim as the first countertenor in the world premiere of John Adams' “El Niño,” directed by Peter Sellars and conducted by Kent Nagano at the Théâtre Musical de Paris-Châtelet. Since then he has performed this role more than thirty times. A noted specialist in music of the 17th and 18th centuries, Mr. Bubeck is a frequent soloist in music of that period. He made his debut with the American Bach Soloists in 2005 in “Messiah,” and returned to sing Bach’s St. Matthews Passion in 2006. He is equally at home in performances of contemporary music. Mr. Bubeck is a native of Wilmington, Del., and holds degrees from Indiana University, Peabody Conservatory and the University of Delaware.

Ms. Doughty graduated magna cum laude from Wellesley College and received her master’s degree in music from Boston University. She continued her studies in voice at the Conservatoire National de Région in Boulogne-Billancourt. Having relocated to Paris in 2000, Ms. Doughty made her Parisian debut in “The Magic Flute” as Pamina with the Orchestre Colonne at the Cirque National Alexis Gruss.Ms. Doughty has participated in numerous concerts in Europe and in the United States, performing such works as Bach’s Mass in B Minor, Handel’s “Messiah,” the “Stabat Mater of Pergolesi, the Requiem and Mass in C Minor of Mozart, Haydn’s “Creation,” Gounod’s “Mors et Vita,” the Brahms Requiem, and Orff’s “Carmina Burana.”
 
Acclaimed for his “exemplary diction and rich baritone voice,” baritone Aaron Engebreth maintains an active solo career in opera, oratorio and recital, and has devoted considerable energy and time to the performance of new music, often collaborating with composers. He is a frequent soloist with many of the country’s finest early-music organizations including the American Bach Soloists, Handel and Haydn Society, and Boston Early Music Festival. He appears regularly with Emmanuel Music, where a 35-year tradition of weekly performances of Bach's sacred cantatas continues under the direction of Craig Smith. In June 2008 he will take part in the world premiere staging of Eric Sawyer's opera, “Our American Cousin.” Mr. Engebreth is also a co-founder and artistic director of the Florestan Recital Project. He is on the faculty of the University of Southern Maine. 

Tenor Joe Dan Harper is a versatile singer of concert, recital and chamber music repertoire. A native of Texas, he received his bachelor's degree from Southern Methodist University where he was a recipient of the Thomas Hayward Memorial Award, and his master's degree with distinction in performance from the New England Conservatory of Music. Mr. Harper joined the SUNY Fredonia School of Music voice faculty in Fall 2005 after returning from Germany where he studied under the auspices of a Fulbright grant. He made his debut with the Buffalo Philharmonic singing Haydn's “Creation.” Mr. Harper performs frequently with his wife, pianist Anne Kissel Harper. As an educator, he has been a member of the voice faculty of Brown University as well as Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass.

Dr. Gray, an associate professor in the SUNY School of Music, performs as a vocalist throughout the United States primarily in the music of the 17th and 18th centuries. Recent highlights include the role of "Tempo" in Handel’s “Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno” with Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra of Los Angeles, and one-voice-per-part performances of Bach’s sacred cantatas with the American Bach Soloists of San Francisco which received critical acclaim. As a conductor, Dr. Gray has earned degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the University of Iowa. He has sung as a professional chorister in choirs such as Boston Baroque, Emmanuel Music of Boston and the Handel and Haydn Society of Boston. He brings 20 years of experience with choirs of all levels from fully professional choirs to the smallest church choirs to his current position as conductor of the Fredonia College Choir.

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