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DPO to offer choral work characterized as “The Sublime, the Grand, and the Tender”

Wednesday evening, December 7 at 8 pm in the Schuster Center, guest conductor Hank Dahlman leads the Dayton Philharmonic Chorus and four guest vocalists in a one-night-only performance of one of the most beloved oratorios of all time, Handel’s Messiah.

Despite Handel’s fame as London’s leading musical personality, his oratorio Messiah premiered in Dublin, Ireland in 1742 to tremendous acclaim. The Dublin Journal gushed, “The Sublime, the Grand, and the Tender, adapted to the most elevated, majestick and moving Words, conspired to transport and charm the ravished Heart and Ear.”

It’s hard to add anything to that! But Hank Dahlman and the Dayton Philharmonic Chorus have, in the person of four of the country’s finest vocal soloists: Mary Southworth, soprano; Kathleen Maurer, mezzo-soprano; Steven Stolen, tenor; and Cory Renbarger, baritone.

An extremely versatile performer, Mary Elizabeth Southworth is an active soprano soloist in repertoire including opera, oratorio, art song, musical theatre, and symphonic works. She has performed numerous times with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati Opera.

Kathleen Maurer, mezzo-soprano, has performed extensively in the United States and in Europe. During her more than 15-year residence in Germany, Ms. Maurer sang in approximately 2,800 performances of over one hundred operas, operettas, and musicals as a member of the opera companies at the Städtische Bühne in Hagen and the Nationaltheater in Mannheim.

Steven Stolen enjoys an eclectic and successful career as a concert and stage singer throughout the United States. Described as “a remarkable singer” (Indianapolis Star) and “distinctive” (Washington Post), Stolen has performed with many of the world’s great orchestras and conductors.

Cory Renbarger, baritone, is a veteran of several Dayton Opera productions, including The Marriage of Figaro (Antonio) and Tosca (Sciarrone). He has also appeared in the Ash Lawn Opera Festival’s production of Madama Butterfly in the role of Sharpless and in the title role of Gianni Schicchi in Puccini’s opera of the same name at the Opera Theater and Music Festival of Lucca, Italy.