Susanna Phillips, Takaoki Onishi & Jennifer Zetlan Headline Oratorio Society of New York’s 2019-20 Season

By Nicole Kuchta

The Oratorio Society of New York has revealed details of its upcoming 147th season, which will include two world premieres.

The season will kick off with “Rachmaninoff and Duruflé” at Cathedral of St. John the Divine. The program will include excerpts from Rachmaninoff’s Vespers, an “a cappella work of remarkable spirituality,” along with Duruflé’s Requiem. Featured vocalists will include contralto Kirsten Sollek, tenor John Riesen, and baritone David Pike. They will be joined by cellist Arthur Fiacco and organist David Briggs.

Performance Date: Nov. 5, 2019

Kent Tritle will lead “Handel’s Messiah” at Carnegie Hall, a holiday tradition featuring soprano Leslie Fagan, contralto Heather Petrie, tenor Brian Giebler, and bass Adam Lau.

Performance Date: Dec. 19, 2019

Brahms’s A German Requiem, New Critical Edition World Premiere” will feature soprano Susanna Phillips and baritone Takaoki Onishi as soloists. OSNY presented the U.S. premiere of Brahms’ masterpiece back in 1877, and will now perform the world premiere of a new critical edition of the work put together by an international team of scholars including German music specialist Michael Musgrave.

Performance Date: Mar. 2, 2020

OSNY will present the “Lyndon Woodside Oratorio-Solo Competition Finals Concert” in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. Eight finalists will each perform two works, with winners being announced immediately following the judges’ deliberations.

Performance Date: Apr. 18, 2020

A Nation of Others by Paul Moravec & Mark Campbell, World Premiere of an OSNY Commission” marks the world premiere of a new oratorio about immigrants’ arrival at Ellis Island. Also part of the program is Robert Paterson’s “Walt Whitman’s America,” a setting of poems from “Leaves of Grass.” Sopranos Jennifer Zetlan and Maeve Höglund, mezzo-soprano Raehann Bryce-Davis, tenor Isaiah Bell, baritone Steven Eddy, and bass-baritone Joseph Beutel will be featured as soloists.

Performance Date: May 6, 2020

Additionally, in January of 2020 Naxos Records will release a recording of the world premiere of Moravec & Campbell’s oratorio “Sanctuary Road,” performed under the baton of Kent Tritle at Carnegie Hall on May 7, 2018. Soloists included Laquita Mitchell, Raehann Bryce-Davis, Joshua Blue, Malcolm J. Merriweather, and Dashon Burton.