Handel’s Oratorio ‘Judas Maccabaeus’
3:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Hochstein Performance Hall
50 Plymouth Ave N
Rochester, NY 14614
(Rochester, NY — 4 August 2017) An acknowledged masterwork by the premier composer in the art form returns to Rochester this December, when the Rochester Oratorio Society presents Judas Maccabaeus, the dramatic choral work by George Frideric Handel, Sunday, December 10, 2017, 3:00 P.M., at Hochstein Performance Hall, 50 Plymouth Avenue North, in Rochester, NY. Tickets for this performance ($25, students $10 with ID) are available from the Oratorio Society office at (585) 473-2234, at its web site, www.ROSsings.org, and online.
Handel’s oratorio was written in 1746, five years after his world-famous Messiah. It was immensely popular during the composer’s lifetime, receiving dozens of performances. The story relates to the period 170-160 BC when Judea was under occupation by a dynasty of Hellenistic kings, who sought to vanquish Jewish culture and religion. Through decades of struggle, the Jews prevailed, a triumph celebrated to this day through the Hanukkah tradition. Handel’s history of the Maccabees contains some of his best known and loved music, sung in English and easily enjoyed by audiences hearing the piece for the first time.
The ROS has engaged nationally-renowned vocal artists with strong dramatic delivery to create the roles of Judas, Simon and the Israelites. Tenor Boris Van Druff sings the title role. Roberts Wesleyan alumna and emerging national star, Brittany Hebel, and Nazareth College faculty member (likewise a national performing artist), Jessica Ann Best, take the roles of the Israelites. Bass Eric Kesler takes dual roles as Judas’s brother, Simon, and as the Roman Ambassador, Eupolemus. The fully-professional ROS Orchestra and Oratorio Society chorus perform under Artistic Director Eric Townell. “The story is incredibly relevant today, and music is fiery, triumphant, beautiful and engaging,” Townell remarks.
The Rochester Oratorio Society, the region’s premier large mixed chorus for adults, presents 4-6 performances annually and presents the international vocal competition, CLASSICAL IDOL, each spring. Information on the ROS and its productions may be found at http://ROSsings.org or by calling the office at (585) 473-2234.