The Oratorio Chorale, directed by Emily Isaacson, opened its 44th season November 4 and 5 in Portland and Brunswick, Maine, in a contemporary take on Handel’s best-known work, Messiah, an enduring part of the choral repertoire since the 1750s. Messiah was followed by the Chorale’s annual holiday concert, “Sing We Noël,” on Friday, December 15 and 16.
Coming next on February 3 in Portland and February 4 in Brunswick is a program featuring the Fauré Requiem and Robert Kyr’s The Cloud of Unknowing. The DaPonte String Quartet joins the Chorale for this program, along with GRAMMY-winning soprano Estelí Gomez and Austin-Critic Circle award winner baritone David Farwig. Composer Robert Kyr will be in residence with the Chorale for the concerts.
Performances take place Saturday, February 3, at 7:00 p.m. at Woodfords Congregational Church in Portland, and Sunday, February 4, at 2:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Brunswick (note location change from season brochure).
Concerts April 21 and 22 will feature the Chorale’s women’s chorus, Sweetest in the Gale, in “Then Is Now,” a program that explores how living composers have engaged traditional, fol, or historical music and translated it to a modern voice. The final program of the season, Meditation through Music, takes place May 11 and 12 and features the music of Bach, Byrd, Purcell, and Rachmaninoff as well as Stephen Paulus, Eric Whitacre, and Sarah Hopkins.