On the region’s many stages, it’s the time of year for performances of The Nutcracker, A Christmas Carol, TubaChristmas…and yes, Georg Frideric Handel’s spectacular oratorio, the Messiah (HWV 56). On Saturday afternoon, December 21, the Bardavon 1869 Opera House will be hosting the Hudson Valley Philharmonic (now celebrating its 60th anniversary season) and guest vocalists from Cappella Festiva, whose artistic director Christine Howlett will serve as guest conductor. There will be a total of 140 instrumentalists and singers on the Bardavon stage, and in the time-honored Messiah tradition, audience members will be invited to sing along – especially when they get to the famous “Hallelujah Chorus.”
The featured soloists for this Messiah performance are soprano Katherine Whyte, tenor Dann Coakwell, baritone Tyler Duncan and mezzo-soprano Christina English. Maestro Howlett and members of the orchestra will be on hand one hour before the 2 p.m. concert to give a pre-concert talk for all ticketholders. Howlett is the director of Choral Activities at Vassar College, where she conducts the Vassar College Women’s Chorus and Vassar College Choir, and also co-founded the Summer Choral Festival at Vassar College and the Cappella Festiva Treble Choir.
Ticket prices for Handel’s Messiah start at $26. They can be purchased at the Bardavon box office at 35 Market Street in Poughkeepsie, (845) 473-2072; the Ulster Performing Arts Center box office at 601 Broadway in Kingston, (845) 339-6088; or via Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or www1.ticketmaster.com/event/00005693AAE659B2.
Handel’s Messiah, Saturday, Dec. 21, 2 p.m., $26+, Bardavon 1869 Opera House, 35 Market St., Poughkeepsie, (845) 473-2072, www.ticketmaster.com