December will be a busy month for ABS! On December 11 & 12, ABS presents its annual performances of Handel’s Messiah at Grace Cathedral. On Saturday, December 14, the group returns to St Stephens for An ABS Christmas. Wrapping up the intense schedule of events, ABS will perform Messiah at the Mondavi Center in Davis on the afternoon of December 15. It will be an exciting, music filled time and we look forward to seeing you!
San Francisco Classical Voice wrote, “What stood out above all, in this annual rite that drew a huge crowd, was the sense of being addressed directly, personally, confidingly. Conductor Jeffrey Thomas brought it all together, melding his ABS forces with precision and intuitive responsiveness to Handel’s capacious 1742 masterwork.”
This year’s quartet of vocal soloists will include soprano Shawnette Sulker, an artist with whom ABS Music Director Jeffrey Thomas has collaborated on a number of occasions. Thomas says, “Shawnette has a gorgeous voice. She has wonderful stage presence and her rendition of the soprano arias in Messiah is superb.” Also featured will be countertenor Eric Jurenas, who came to ABS through the Academy when he sang the role of the villain, Polinesso, in Handel’s Ariodante. Tenor Aaron Sheehan (who sang the role of the Evangelist in last year’s performances of Bach’s St. John Passion) and Mischa Bouvier (one of our audience’s most favorite baritones) also join the combined forces of ABS and the American Bach Choir.
Highlights of An ABS Christmas will include a performance of Bach’s brilliant cantata, Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen. Requiring a virtuoso soprano and a virtuoso trumpeter, John Thiessen will join Ms. Sulker in the musical fireworks. The second half of the program will showcase the American Bach Choir in beautiful works appropriate for the holiday season by composers Benjamin Britten, David Conte, Herbert Howells,
John Rutter, Ralph Vaughan Williams, & Eric Whitacre.