December 19, 2022 in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
at Carnegie Hall
Kent Tritle Conducts Soloists Maria Brea, Heather Petrie,
Joshua Blue, and Jesse Blumberg
November 8, 2022, New York, NY —The Oratorio Society of New York (OSNY), led by Music Director Kent Tritle, continues its 2022–23 season with its 148th performance of Handel’s Messiah on Monday, December 19, 2022 at 8:00 p.m. in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall. This year’s performance includes soloists soprano Maria Brea, contralto Heather Petrie, tenor Joshua Blue, and baritone Jesse Blumberg, together with the Orchestra of the Society.
A holiday tradition since 1874, OSNY has never missed an annual performance of Messiah, having held a digital performance in 2020, and in 2021, making a triumphant return to Carnegie Hall with their annual performance.
“I am delighted to direct the Oratorio Society of New York in this year’s performance of Handel’s Messiah!” said Maestro Tritle. “We have managed to continue our unbroken tradition of presenting Messiah through the past years, and this year’s rendition will be especially poignant as we return to the presentation of all three monumental parts of this beloved work! Whereas last year we presented a reduced Messiah, due to venue protocols and concerns over the Omicron virus surge, this year we expect to present the fuller version so beloved by New York audiences.”
Prior to the Society’s performance of Messiah, OSNY presents the world premiere of Paul Moravec and Mark Campbell’s A Nation of Others on Tuesday, November 15, 2022 at 8:00 p.m. at Carnegie Hall. A Nation of Others is a powerful new work that follows a group of immigrants as they arrive by ship at Ellis Island in 1921. Robert Paterson’s Whitman’s America, a “quasi-fantasia” of six poems from Whitman’s final version of Leaves of Grass, is also on the program. Featured soloists joining OSNY for A Nation of Others include sopranos Susanna Phillips and Maeve Höglund, mezzo-soprano Raehann Bryce-Davis, tenor Martin Bakari, baritone Steven Eddy, and bass-baritone Joseph Beutel, together with the Orchestra of the Society, led by Music Director Kent Tritle.
The season continues in 2023 with J.S. Bach’s Mass in B Minor on Monday, May 8, 2023 at 8:00 p.m. with soprano Emily Donato, mezzo-soprano Lucia Bradford, tenor Brian Giebler, and baritone Sidney Outlaw, together with the chorus and Orchestra of the Society; and the 46th annual Lyndon Woodside Oratorio-Solo Competition on Saturday, April 15, 2023 at 1:30 p.m. in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.
Monday, December 19, 2022 at 8:00pm
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall
881 7th Avenue
New York, NY 10019
Kent Tritle, conductor
Maria Brea, soprano
Heather Petrie, contralto
Joshua Blue, tenor
Jesse Blumberg, baritone
Orchestra of the Society
Tickets, starting at $28, are available at carnegiehall.org. Tickets are also available via CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800, or at the Carnegie Hall Box Office at 57th and Seventh.
About the Oratorio Society of New York
The Oratorio Society of New York (OSNY.ORG) is one of the oldest musical organizations in the United States and has become New York City’s standard for grand choral performance. Founded in 1873 by Leopold Damrosch, the Society has played an integral role in the musical life of the city. In its early years, the Society established a fund to finance the building of a new concert hall, a cause taken up in earnest by the Society’s fifth president, Andrew Carnegie. In 1891, and under the direction of Pyotr Tchaikovsky, the Society helped inaugurate this new Music Hall, which would be renamed Carnegie Hall several years later.
The Society continues to perform several times each season at Carnegie Hall. Its annual performances of Handel’s Messiah, a New York holiday tradition unbroken since 1874, have become a holiday favorite with New York audiences. In addition to its collaborations with the New York Philharmonic and Orchestra of St. Luke’s, as well as other performing arts institutions, the Society performs internationally every few years – including recent concerts in Japan, Uruguay, Germany, Italy, and Brazil.
The Society is also committed to commissioning and championing new works, including most recently Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Paul Moravec and Grammy Award-winning librettist Mark Campbell’s Grammy-nominated recording Sanctuary Road, available from Naxos Records.
The OSNY membership consists of avocational and professionally trained singers as well as non-singing members. Auditions are held twice annually at the beginning of the fall and winter terms. OSNY is a not-for-profit 501c3 corporation governed by a volunteer board of directors with a professional music staff.
About Kent Tritle
Kent Tritle is one of the leading choral conductors in the United States. During his tenure with the Oratorio Society of New York, he has led it in a wide variety of works, including the world premieres of the Paul Moravec/Mark Campbell oratorio Sanctuary Road and Juraj Filas’s Song of Solomon, and the New York premieres of Paul Moravec’s The Blizzard Voices and Marjorie Merryman’s Jonah. Under his direction, members of the chorus have also performed in Europe, Japan, and South America and in concerts presented by the New York Philharmonic.
Mr. Tritle is also Director of Cathedral Music and Organist at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, where he directs the Great Music in a Great Space concert series, and is Music Director of Musica Sacra.
Kent Tritle led the Sacred Music in a Sacred Space series at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola from 1989 to 2011, and from 1996 to 2004 he was Music Director of the Emmy-nominated Dessoff Choirs. Kent hosted “The Choral Mix with Kent Tritle,” a weekly program devoted to the vibrant world of choral music, on New York’s WQXR from 2010 to 2014.
Kent Tritle’s discography features more than 20 recordings on the Telarc, Naxos, AMDG, Epiphany, Gothic, VAI, and MSR Classics labels. Recent releases include the Grammy-nominated 2018 world premiere performance of the Paul Moravec/Mark Campbell oratorio Sanctuary Road with the Oratorio Society of New York; the 2016 performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, David Briggs’s organ-choral version, and Eternal Reflections: Choral Music of Robert Paterson with Musica Sacra.
An acclaimed organ virtuoso, Mr. Tritle is the organist of the New York Philharmonic and the American Symphony Orchestra. He performs regularly in Europe and throughout the United States. Recital venues have included the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Zurich Tonhalle, the Church of St. Sulpice, Dresden’s Hofkirche, King’s College at Cambridge, and Westminster Abbey.
Mr. Tritle is on the graduate faculty of The Juilliard School and is Director of Choral Activities at the Manhattan School of Music, where he established a doctoral program in choral conducting and is on the faculty of the organ department. Tritle is renowned as a master clinician, giving workshops on conducting and repertoire; he was a featured conductor at Berkshire Choral International on several occasions, and currently leads the annual choral workshop at the Amherst Early Music Festival. In recent years he has also led workshops at Summer@Eastman and at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. He was featured in the first season of the WIRED video series “Masterminds,” an installment titled, “What Conductors Are Really Doing.” His website is kenttritle.com.
About Maria Brea
Venezuelan soprano María Brea has been called a “fantastic soprano,” by Opera Wire showcasing “virtuosity as a singer” and imbuing “luxurious polish.” Brea was chosen as a finalist in the 2022 Paris Competition and sang for the 2021 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition. She previously won 6th prize in the Tenor Viñas Contest, where she also received a special award for the best interpreter of Zarzuela and a contract to perform with the orchestra at Teatro Liceu de Barcelona. Brea has been the recipient of awards in the Opera Cultura, Gerda Lissner, Giulio Gari, Mary Truman Art Song, and New York Lyric Opera Competitions, and received an encouragement award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Connecticut District Auditions.
In the Fall of 2022, Brea will represent Venezuela in Placido Domingo’s Operalia, The World Opera Competition in Latvia. Brea then performs Handel’s Messiah with the Indianapolis Symphony and the Oratorio Society of New York. In the Spring, she will join several symphonies and ensembles as a soprano soloist, including the Tucson Symphony in performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, the Boston Philharmonic Youth Symphony in Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, The Schubert Club in performances Reinaldo Moya’s String Quartet, and in Knoxville for a concert of Mozart works.
About Heather Petrie
Heather Petrie is “a true contralto, with a big, deep, resonant projection that can fill a hall.” (New London Day) The 2022-2023 season includes a concert tour of South Korea; Carnegie Hall performances of Handel’s Messiah with Musica Sacra, and with the Oratorio Society of New York; Mozart’s Requiem with the American Classical Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall; Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius in Salt Lake City; two productions with the Metropolitan Opera, and several concerts throughout the New York area. In 2019 Heather was the second prize winner in the Lyndon Woodside Oratorio Competition, and made her Carnegie Hall solo debut that winter with OSNY. As a soloist she has appeared with the American Symphony Orchestra, Voices of Ascension, Sacred Music in a Sacred Space, and the New Orchestra of Washington.
Heather was thrilled to have had the opportunity to record concerts with the Oratorio Society, Danbury Symphony Orchestra, Musica Viva NYC, the Cathedral Choir of Saint John the Divine, and St. George’s Choral Society during seasons when in-person singing was not possible. Under normal circumstances, she performs frequently with the NY Philharmonic, Musica Sacra, the Choir of St. Ignatius Loyola, and the Choir of Temple Emanu-El. In addition to numerous operatic roles, she has been a member of the opera chorus at both Bard Summerscape and the Princeton Festival, and is currently a member of the Metropolitan Opera Extra Chorus. Heather is a founding member of the critically acclaimed, eight-voice treble group Etherea Vocal Ensemble, and is prominently featured on both of their recordings, released by Delos. She holds degrees from Bard College and SUNY Purchase Conservatory.
About Joshua Blue
This season, British-American tenor Joshua Blue makes his Los Angeles Philharmonic debut as the tenor soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony #9 performed at the Hollywood Bowl with Eva Ollikainen on the podium. He makes returns to Opera Philadelphia for his role debut as Rodolfo in La bohème, before reprising the role at the Glimmerglass Festival in the summer, and the Metropolitan Opera to sing the Royal Herald in David McVicar’s production of Don Carlo under the baton of Carlo Rizzi and cover Chevalier de la Force in John Dexter’s production of Dialogues des Carmélites led by Bertrand de Billy. At Carnegie Hall, he appears with Oratorio Society of New York and Musica Sacra for Handel’s Messiah and joins the Temple University Chorus and Orchestra for Adolphus Hailstork’s Done Made My Vow. He performs in the world premiere of Another City, a new commission by Houston Grand Opera featuring composer Jeremy Howard Beck and librettist Stephanie Fleischmann. Mr. Blue has sung with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Opera, National Symphony Orchestra, Washington National Opera, Seiji Ozawa Matsumoto Festival, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Wolf Trap Opera, and Austin Opera, working with conductors James Conlon, Gianandrea Noseda, Eun Sun Kim, Fabio Luisi, James Gaffigan, Bernard Labadie, and Leonard Slatkin, among others. He appears on the recording of Moravec’s Sanctuary Road with Oratorio Society of New York, which was nominated for a 2021 Grammy Award. He was also named the first-place prize winner at Oratorio Society of New York’s Lyndon Woodside Oratorio-Solo Competition in 2017. Mr. Blue holds degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and The Juilliard School.
About Jesse Blumberg
Baritone Jesse Blumberg enjoys a busy schedule of opera, concerts, and recitals, performing repertoire from the Renaissance and Baroque to the 20th and 21st centuries. His performances have included the world premiere of The Grapes of Wrath at Minnesota Opera, Bernstein’s MASS at London’s Royal Festival Hall, various productions with Boston Early Music Festival, and featured roles with Atlanta Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Opera Atelier, and Boston Lyric Opera. Jesse has made concert appearances with American Bach Soloists, Boston Baroque, Apollo’s Fire, Oratorio Society of New York, Montréal Baroque Festival, Arion Baroque, Early Music Vancouver, Pacific MusicWorks, and on Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series. His recital highlights include appearances with the Marilyn Horne Foundation and New York Festival of Song, and performances of Die schöne Müllerin and Winterreise with pianist Martin Katz.
During the busy 2022-2023 season, Jesse returns to Boston Early Music Festival for their opera production, Circé, returns to Boston Baroque as Oreste in Iphigénie en Tauride, and brings his celebrated interpretation of Handel’s Messiah to Oratorio Society of New York at Carnegie Hall and to Grand Philharmonic Choir (Kitchener, Ontario). He will also perform a number of recitals with pianist Martin Katz throughout the United States, and tour internationally with Mirror visions Ensemble. The 2021-2022 season included debuts with Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and Grand Rapids Symphony, and returns to Boston Early Music Festival, Opera Atelier, and Mirror Visions Ensemble.
Photo at top of release by Brian Hatton