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Monday, Dec. 12, 2011

Florentine Opera, MSO Join Forces for Handel's 'Messiah'

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The Florentine Opera Studio Artists and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Chorus will honor the holiday season with performances of Handel's immortal and glorious Messiah. By some accounts, the prolific composer pounded out Messiah on deadline, as we would say today, drawing the text from the King James Bible and the Book of Common Prayer and arranging it for a small ensemble. Public reception was modest at its first several performances, but Messiah has survived to become one of the most familiar works in the Western classical tradition. It would be interesting to see Handel's reaction to his signature work being performed by hundreds of singers, as popularized by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

For Messiah, the Florentine's Studio Artists will call on soprano Erica Schuller, known for her consummate stage presence, alto Kristen DiNinno, who recently earned praise from The New York Times for humanizing the classics, tenor Matthew Richardson and bass-baritone Dan Richardson.

These outstanding performers join forces for a series of concerts, taking place 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15-16 at the Basilica of St. Josaphat (2333 S. Sixth St.) and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17 and 1:30 p.m. Dec. 18 at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist (812 N. Jackson St.).
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