Hilarie Ashton | Public Relations Manager
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 7, 2011
UTAH SYMPHONY, UTAH SYMPHONY CHORUS PRESENT ANNUAL “MESSIAH” SING-IN
SALT LAKE CITY--The Utah Symphony and Utah Symphony Chorus invite Utah audiences to participate in the annual “Messiah” Sing-In, conducted by Utah Symphony Chorus Master Susanne Sheston.
Vocalists John Buffett (baritone), Andrew Penning (tenor), Sishel Claverie (mezzo-soprano) and Jennie Litster (soprano) will join a harmonious 3,000 voice choir, made up of the Utah Symphony Chorus and Abravanel Hall audience members, for Handel’s famous oratorio Saturday, November 26 and Sunday, November 27 at 7 p.m. in Abravanel Hall (123 W. South Temple).
This will be the organization’s 34th presentation of the sing-in featuring the “Messiah,” a passionate oratorio narrative following the life of Jesus Christ, starting with God’s promises of the coming Messiah as spoken by the prophets and ending with Christ’s glorification in heaven. It is an inspirational masterpiece that has been performed all over the world for more than 250 years and is recognized today as one of the most famous choral works ever written.
Tickets for the evening performances range from $15 to $32 and can be purchased by calling (801) 355-ARTS (2787), in person at the Abravanel Hall ticket office or by visiting www.usuo.org. Students can purchase discounted tickets with a student ID. Season ticket holders and those desiring group discounts should call (801) 533-NOTE (6683). Ticket prices will increase $2 when purchased on the day of the performance.
Press photos available by logging in at http://www.utahsymphony.org/about/press-and-reviews/itemlist/category/35-media-kit. (Username: usuoimages, Password: media).
Susanne Sheston, Conductor
Susanne Sheston directs both the Utah Symphony Chorus and the Utah Opera Chorus. In addition, Susanne recently completed her fourth season as Chorus Master of the internationally acclaimed Santa Fe Opera, where she prepares a professional chorus for four or five fully-staged productions each summer. As a choral conductor, she has collaborated with many leading operatic and symphonic conductors, including David Robertson of the St. Louis Symphony, Edo de Waart of the Milwaukee Symphony and Hong Kong Philharmonic, Patrick Summers of Houston Grand Opera, Frédéric Chaslin of The Santa Fe Opera, and Leonard Slatkin of the Detroit Symphony, among others. In addition to her choral collaborations, Susanne particularly enjoys conducting Utah Symphony | Utah Opera’s “Night at the Opera”, an annual concert for children with autism and their families, and working with the Utah Opera resident artists. For Utah Opera, Sheston recently conducted “Suor Angelica”/”Gianni Schicch “ and “Don Pasquale” at the Capitol Theatre. Prior to joining Utah Symphony and Utah Opera, Dr. Sheston was the chorus master at Des Moines Metro Opera and was a member of the music faculty at Simpson College in Iowa. Trained as a pianist, Sheston studied with Robert Larsen, Howard Lubin, and Joanne Baker.
Jennie Litster, Soprano
She has been charming audiences with her “coquettish sparkle and suppleness” in the San Francisco Bay Area for years. Recently seen with Livermore Valley Opera and Opera San Jose, Litster has also traveled eastward to sing with the Ash Lawn Festival Opera in Charlottesville, Virginia and returned to join The Virginia Consort as the soprano soloist in “Carmina Burana.” Other recent accolades include being named a Utah District Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2011 and competing regionally in Denver, Colorado. This summer she performed with Utah Festival Opera. As Utah Opera’s Soprano Resident Artist, she will sing Gianetta in Donizetti's “L'Elisir d'Amore” in 2012.
Sishel Claverie, Mezzo-Soprano
She was born in Mexico City and is an Alumna of S.I.V.A.M., Mexico’s most prestigious Young Artist Program. Sishel holds a Master's degree in music from Rice University. Her operatic roles include Komponist in “Ariadne auf Naxos,” the title role in “Chérubin,” Dorabella in “Così fan Tutte,” and Meg in “Little Women,” among others. Claverie has been a Studio Artist at Wolf Trap, and at Renata Scotto Opera Studio in Rome, Italy. She was also a member of Houston Grand Opera’s outreach program, Opera to Go! Her future engagements include the role of Secretary (cover) in Menotti's “The Consul” at Opera New Jersey.
Andrew Penning, Tenor
A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, he holds the degrees of M.M in Vocal Performance from the University of Cincinnati: College-Conservatory of Music, and a B.M in Vocal Performance from Lawrence University. Joining Utah Opera this fall as a Resident Artist, he will sing the role of Borsa in “Rigoletto” and cover the role of Nemorino in “The Elixir of Love.” Penning spent the summer of 2011 as a Fellow at Tanglewood Music Festival singing, among other assignments, the Second Tenor in Stravinsky’s “Renard.” Recently he has performed the roles of the Male Chorus in Benjamin Britten’s “The Rape of Lucretia,” The Chevalier in Poulenc’s “Dialogues of the Carmelites,” and Monsieur Lacouf in “Les Mamelles de Tiresias.” Penning has also been an active concert soloist in a variety of works including: Monteverdi’s “Vespers,” Handel’s “Messiah” Saint-Saëns’ “Christmas Oratorio,” J.S Bach’s “Magnificat,” J.S Bach’s “Cantata 12,” Haydn’s “Grosse Orgelmesse” in E Flat, and Bruckner’s “Te Deum.”
John Buffett, Baritone
A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, he is known for his concert, recital and opera work in various styles from Monteverdi to Puccini. Some of his favorite roles include Schaunard in “La Bohème,” Golaud in “Pelléas et Méllisande” and Figaro in “Le nozze di Figaro.” He has performed with the opera companies of Utah, Sarasota, Memphis, Rochester and the Boston Early Music Festival, and on the concert stage with the Syracuse Symphony, the Rochester Philharmonic, and Apollo’s Fire. Buffett has won various competitions, including the Kneisel Lieder Competition and Eastman’s Concerto Competition. He has been a young artist with the Opera companies of Sarasota and Memphis and is currently a Resident Artist with Utah Opera.
Public Relations Manager