HELSINKI BAROQUE ORCHESTRA
HÄNDEL CHOIR’S 50TH ANNIVERSARY
Tampere Cathedral 30 Nov 2019
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Hallelujah! What a work and with what composition! In the celebration of its 50th anniversary, Händel Choir will return to its roots by performing Händel’s Messiah at Tampere Cathedral on 30 November 2019.
The legend of early music – Dame Emma Kirkby
The name of the world-renowned English soprano Emma Kirkby is always associated with her above all crystalline and pure voice, which has become the ideal of early music. Her agile soprano, virtuoso coloratura and minimal vibrato have made her an ideal which has served as a model for numerous specialist of Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque music specialists.
Kirkby received classical education at Oxford University. Kirkby did not originally intend to become a professional singer. She became involved in singing with a number of choirs and small music ensembles and always felt the Renaissance and Baroque repertoire to be closest to her heart. As a specialist of early music, she has been a true forerunner by creating an approach to the performance practices of early music which has been widely imitated and which she also has promoted during her long career as a trainer.
What Emma Kirkby appreciates the most are live concerts which, without exception, have been described as unforgettable experiences. With her unique voice and brilliant performance technique, she manages to create something new from the magnificent repertoire every time. Kirkby has made well over 100 recordings, ranging from Hildegard of Bingen’s production to madrigals of the Italian and English Renaissance, cantatas and oratorios of the Baroque, and works of Mozart and Haydn. Händel’s messiah has been the cornerstone of her career – this was the work which brought her international acclaim.
Kirkby was appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2007 and she was granted the Queen’s Medal for Music in 2011. She is still performing all over the world as the star of early music orchestras and ensembles.
Leading contralto of her generation – Sonia Prina
The alto soloist in the concert, representing the rising generation, is the world-renowned Italian contralto Sonia Prina. Prina established herself quickly as one of the leading contraltos of her generation. Thanks to her unique voice she has received international recognition and won several prizes, including the Italian music critics’ Prize “Franco Abbiati” in 2006 and the “Tiberini d’Oro” Prize in 2014, both naming her the “Best Singer of the Year”.
After graduating from the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Milan, she was admitted at the Academy of Young Singers of the Teatro alla Scala. She made her operatic stage debut at the Scala at only 23 years old as Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. Later on she has gained reputation especially for her roles in Baroque operas and as a magnificent interpreter of Baroque music. Prina’s career highlights include title roles in Händel’s operas at large stages around the world. She has also made a number of recordings of the works of Händel and Vivaldi.
Finnish singers in male roles
The bass solo will be performed by Juha Uusitalo. Originally a flautist, Uusitalo’s career as a singer did not start until in his early 30s. However, he made a quick breakthrough to both national and international fame. In only a couple of years, he made his debut at the Finnish National Opera in Helsinki, and soon after that at the Tirol Festival of Early Music, where he gained international recognition with his Wanderer’s role in Wagner’s Siegfried.
With an outstanding career in operatic roles, Juha Uusitalo has performed, for example, Wagner’s Flying Dutchman at all major opera houses around the world.
The concert’s tenor soloist is a young Finnish talent Juho Punkeri. He is recognized especially for his aptitude for early music and lied. Thanks to his versatile musical background and beautiful lyric voice, he is in demand as an artist and a musician. Punkeri’s light, yet simultaneously effectively elastic tenor voice has been described as ideal for early music.
In 2016, he graduated from the Sibelius Academy Opera Master’s Programme. He has complemented his studies under the guidance of Emma Kirkby, for example. In August 2017, Punkeri was a finalist in the International Singing Competition for Baroque Opera Pietro Antonio Cesti in Innsbruck, Austria. In 2013, he was awarded a special prize in the National Lappeenranta singing competition. Punkeri actively performs as a soloist, for example, for the Finnish Baroque Orchestra and Helsinki Baroque Orchestra.
Helsinki Baroque Orchestra
Established in 1997, the Helsinki Baroque Orchestra is a personal composition of musicians specialised in periodic instruments, which aims to serve its audience with high-level musical experiences and new approaches to the interpretation of early music. In recent years, HeBo’s position in international cultural exchange has become increasingly stronger.
The Baroque tuning and periodic instruments give Händel’s Messiah its original tone, which could not be created with modern instruments.
Oratorio in praise to Messiah
G.F. Händel composed multiple versions of the Messiah, arranging the arias of the oratorio for different voices depending on what kind of singers he had available each time. With the combination of a later version commonly used for chorus parts and mostly the Dublin version for solos, Debra Gomez-Tapio, Händel Choir’s artistic leader, is following Händel’s footsteps in her concert arrangement. The version of the Messiah at hand has never before been performed in Finland in this form.
The concert gives the audience an opportunity to hear the well-known oratorio with the tones representative of the era when it was composed. The composition of performers, Helsinki Baroque Orchestra and renowned soloists specialised in the performance practices of Baroque allow the concert to offer a great musical experience to the audience.
Welcome to celebrate with us! Group tickets are already available for booking at email@example.com! Single tickets will be available soon. Early bird prices are valid until the end of August.
* Early bird price €35 / ticket (€40 after August)
* Pensioners and students €30
* Ask for special discount tickets for groups of 10 or more persons