Handel's Glorious Messiah
John Alexander, guest conductor
Clara Rottsolk, soprano
Jane Hyun-Jung Shim, mezzo-soprano
Jason Francisco, tenor
Timothy Jones, bass-baritone
Pacific Chorale — Robert Istad, artistic director
There is no Preview Talk for this performance. Doors open at 2 p.m.
A beloved holiday tradition, Handel’s celebrated oratorio—with its blazing trumpets, thundering timpani and spectacular “Hallelujah!” chorus—provides a moment during the busy season to experience reflection, renewal and joy.
Learn more about the music and the artists in the program notes.
Artistic Director of Pacific Chorale from 1972 to 2017, John Alexander is one of America’s most respected choral conductors. His inspired leadership both on the podium and as an advocate for the advancement of the choral art has garnered national and international admiration and acclaim. Alexander’s long and distinguished career has encompassed conducting hundreds of choral and orchestral performances nationally and in 27 countries around the globe. He has conducted his singers with orchestras throughout Europe, Asia, the former Soviet Union and South America and, closer to home, with Pacific Symphony, Pasadena Symphony, Musica Angelica and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Equally versatile whether on the podium or behind the scenes, Alexander has prepared choruses for many of the world’s most outstanding orchestral conductors, including Zubin Mehta, Pierre Boulez, Seiji Ozawa, Michael Tilson Thomas, Leonard Slatkin, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Gustavo Dudamel, Lukas Foss, Max Rudolf, Carl St.Clair, Gerard Schwarz, Marin Alsop, John Mauceri, John Williams, and Keith Lockhart.
“Pure and shining” (Cleveland Plain Dealer) soprano Clara Rottsolk has been lauded by The New York Times for her “clear, appealing voice and expressive conviction” and by The Philadelphia Inquirer for the “opulent tone [with which] every phrase has such a communicative emotional presence.” In a repertoire extending from the Renaissance to the contemporary, her solo appearances with orchestras and chamber ensembles have taken her across the United States, the Middle East, Japan and South America. She specializes in historically informed performance practice, singing with ensembles including American Bach Soloists, Tempesta di Mare, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Les Délices, Pacific MusicWorks, St. Thomas Church 5th Avenue, Virginia Symphony, Atlanta Baroque, Santa Fe Pro Musica, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Piffaro—The Renaissance Wind Band, Colorado Bach Ensemble, Trinity Wall Street Choir, Seraphic Fire, New Mexico Symphonic Chorus, ARTEK, and the Masterwork Chorus under the direction of conductors including Joshua Rifkin, Bruno Weil, Paul Goodwin, Jeffrey Thomas, John Scott, David Effron, and Andrew Megill.
Jane Hyun-Jung Shim
Mezzo-soprano Jane Hyun-Jung Shim, a native of Korea, is a returning soloist of Messiah. She is known for rich, clear and sensitive singing. Shim studied at California State University of Fullerton. While in school, she was coached as a soprano and has performed many soprano solo rolls. She also has won several competitions while in school. Shim is now a familiar face to Orange County chorale music audiences as a mezzo-soprano. She joined Pacific Chorale and John Alexander Singers in 1999, and has appeared as a mezzo-soprano soloist in many works. Shim’s major solo works include Bach's B Minor Mass, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Duruflé’s Requiem, Verdi’s La Traviata, Mozart’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Stravinsky’s Les Noces, Bach’s Magnificat, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass and Mozart’s The Magic Flute. She has been a featured soloist with Pacific Symphony Orchestra, LA Philharmonic Orchestra, Long Beach Symphony, Pasadena Symphony, Musica Angelica, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal, Pacific Chorale, John Alexander Singers, Chorus America Conducting Academy, Long Beach Camerata Singers, Dallas Korean Master Chorale, Angeles Chorale, S. CA Korean Christian Choir, Hour of Power, CSUF University Singers and Azusa Pacific University.
Tenor Jason Francisco has appeared in numerous solo roles, including performances with the Pacific Chorale, the Pacific Symphony, Musica Angelica, Corona Del Mar Baroque Festival and the John Alexander Singers. Major solo roles have included performances of Mozart’s Requiem, Bach’s B Minor Mass, Handel’s Messiah, Finzi’s For Saint Cecilia, Saint-Saëns’ Christmas Oratorio and Scarlatti’s Messa di Santa Cecilia. He can also be heard as soloist on the soundtrack of the film 186 Dollars to Freedom. This fall, Mr. Francisco accepted a position as a singer with Los Angeles Opera, and has appeared in that company’s productions of Bizet’s Carmen and Verdi’s Nabucco. In February, he will sing with San Diego Opera in their production of Puccini’s Turandot. Francisco resides in Laguna Beach, and has served as the tenor soloist and section leader at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Rancho Santa Margarita since 2010.
American Bass-Baritone Timothy Jones enjoys a reputation as a charismatic presence on operatic and concert stages throughout the United States, Europe and South America. The Boston Globe hailed his voice as “stentorian and honeyed” and the Chicago Tribune called his “complete connection with the text extraordinary.” The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review praised him for his theatricality, noting that he “relished the dramatic possibilities of the songs' text and music.” His eagerly anticipated performances combine intelligent musicianship, commanding vocal technique and a unique ability to connect with audiences. Mr. Jones is widely celebrated as an enthusiastic champion of new and contemporary music, and has premiered works by Pulitzer Prize winning composer Kevin Puts. Most recently he offered several performances of Puts’ chamber music piece, In at the Eye, based on poems by William Butler Yates, which Mr. Puts wrote for Jones.
Founded in 1968, Pacific Chorale is internationally recognized for exceptional artistic expression, stimulating American-focused programming, and influential education programs. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Robert Istad, Pacific Chorale presents a substantial performance season of its own at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts and is sought regularly to perform with the nation’s leading symphonies. Pacific Chorale is composed of 140 professional and volunteer singers. In addition to its longstanding partnership with Pacific Symphony, the Chorale has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Disney Hall on numerous occasions. Other noted collaborations include the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, the Boston Symphony, the National Symphony, and the Long Beach, Pasadena, Riverside and San Diego symphonies. John Alexander and the Chorale have toured extensively in Europe, South America and Asia, performing in London, Paris, Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Russia, Spain, Brazil, Argentina, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing and Hong Kong, and collaborating with the London Symphony, L’Orchestre Lamoureux of Paris, the National Orchestra of Belgium, the China National Symphony, the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, the Estonian National Symphony, and the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional of Argentina.