One of the most anticipated highlights every year of the Philadelphia Orchestra’s holiday calendar is Handel’s Messiah. The world seems a little less divided when the audience stands up and sings the chorus of Hallelujah in unison. The Philadelphia Symphonic Choir, led by Joe Miller, will perform the oratorio with the orchestra this year on December 18 at 2pm at the Kimmel Center. French conductor and vocalist Nathalie Stutzmann will be making her Philadelphia Orchestra conducting debut. She has previously conducted the Messiah in Detroit and at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC to great acclaim.
Stutzmann is a different kind of conductor. She believes her victory as a conductor comes when she finishes a rehearsal and the back of the orchestra is smiling as they play. She said, “If I give them the pleasure to play, if I remind them why they want to make music, if they are happy to play, they will give me everything.”
Nathalie Stutzmann will make her conducting debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra this Sunday in Handel’s Messiah. She will be joined by an international cast, featuring soprano Ying Fang, mezzo-soprano Angela Brower, tenor Lawrence Wiliford and baritone Stephen Powell.
Described as “the performance’s star” conducting Handel’s oratorio with Washington’s National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center last year, Nathalie had received critical acclaim for her “musically thrilling and absolutely to be recommended” performance.
Please note this event is sold-out. More information here.
Your eyes don’t deceive you. Yes, that’s Nathalie Stutzmann, the distinguished French contralto, conducting Handel’s Messiah with the Philadelphia Orchestra at 2 p.m. next Sunday at the Kimmel Center. Like soprano Barbara Hannigan, Stutzmann is serious about conducting – to judge from the radio broadcast of her St. Louis Symphony Orchestra guest-conducting date this year. Her rendition of Dvorak’s Symphony No. 7 exuded insight, intelligence, strategy, and the kind of heat one associates with Gustavo Dudamel. How those virtues translate into Handel’s Messiah remains to be seen. But it’s a fair bet the performance won’t be routine.
David Patrick Stearns