Messiah Radio Broadcast on Classical WSMR 89.1 & 103.9
From the Risers: Encountering Messiah
Several of my singing colleagues sang with The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, and they encouraged me to consider joining the ensemble, and in 2007 I auditioned and was invited to join. During Master Chorale concerts we sang selected choruses from Messiah, but the opportunities to sing all the choruses didn’t present itself until 2019. Along the way, we sang selected choruses during a performance with The Florida Orchestra in 2017. During that same year, I had an opportunity to sing the Christmas portion of Messiah with the Lakeland Choral Society and The Imperial Symphony. When I saw Messiah on The Florida Orchestra schedule for December 2019, my hopes went up, especially after I learned that three of the four concerts would be “full roster” concerts encompassing all the available singers in The Master Chorale.
- Tenor Matthew White's entrance of "Comfort ye" following the orchestra's overture. It was like a "voice crying in the wilderness".
- Mezzo Allyson McHardy singing "Behold a virgin shall conceive", with her voice just silky smooth setting the stage for the chorus "O Thou that tellest good tidings to Zion".
- Baritone John Brancy entering the stage "in character", glaring at the orchestra and audience before launching into "Why do the nations rage". He told me backstage that it was his favorite part of Messiah.
- Soprano Helene Brunet absolutely radiant while singing "I know that my redeemer liveth". I told her backstage it melted my heart when she sang it.
- Principal Trumpet Robert Smith absolutely owning the instrument while playing "The Trumpet shall sound".
- Concertmaster Jeff Multer's flawless playing of the violin accompaniment to Helene Brunet's singing in "If God be for us".
- The Master Chorale singing "Since by man came death" especially the pianissimo a capella entrance at the beginning.
- Maestro Michael Francis' constant visual feedback to us in the choir as we adapted to changing acoustics in each venue and the joy he showed on his face as we made wonderful music together.
- The Florida Orchestra's demonstrated musicality throughout the entire performance. It was pure pleasure seeing and hearing them play. What a joy it is to work with them!