2017–18 Season
Emily Isaacson, Music Director

The Oratorio Chorale announces its 2017–18 season consisting of five full concert programs, featuring the full Chorale and our women’s chorus, Sweetest in the Gale (SinG). Concerts take place in Brunswick, Falmouth, and Portland, from November through May. The season will conclude once again with the Chorale’s traditional Cabaret, an informal program of solos and group performances by Chorale members. The Chorale Chamber Choir also participates in the Portland Bach Festival in June as choir-in-residence.

Handel’s Messiah

Saturday, November 4, 7:00 p.m.
Cathedral Church of St. Luke, Portland
Sunday, November 5, 3:00 p.m.
St. John the Baptist Church, Brunswick

Beloved by audiences since its 1743 sold-out debut, Handel’s Messiah is a pillar of Western music – a masterpiece that must be experienced live. Join Oratorio Chorale, the Maine Chamber Ensemble and acclaimed soloists Elisabeth Marshall, soprano, Laura Atkinson, mezzo, Matthew Anderson, tenor, and David Tinervia, bass, and experience Messiah this season. 

Sing We Noël

Friday, December 15, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 16, 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
All performances at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Brunswick

Experience what has become a midcoast tradition with this family-friendly concert that includes sing-along Christmas carols, seasonal music, inspiring performance, and homemade cookies and hot chocolate.

Fauré Requiem and Robert Kyr’s Cloud of Unknowing

Saturday, February 3, 7:00 p.m.
Cathedral Church of St. Luke, Portland
Sunday, February 4, 2:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. in Brunswick

With GRAMMY-winning soprano Esteli Gomez, Austin-Critic Circle Award Winner baritone David Farwig, and composer Robert Kyr.

Fauré’s Requiem, a reflection on faith in eternal rest, is a masterpiece cherished by audiences for its meditative mood. Oratorio Chorale features this work alongside American composer Robert Kyr’s The Cloud of Unknowing, a two-part cycle in which Kyr “directs [his] attention toward creation rather than destruction, toward unity rather than separation, and toward love rather than anything less inclusive.”

What Binds Us Together: Music of Sacrifice and the Story of Abraham, Isaac, and Ishmael in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Saturday, April 6, 7:00 p.m., Portland
Sunday, April 7, 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., Brunswick
Locations to be determined

Oratorio Chorale presents the scriptural story of the binding of Isaac in musical settings by Giacomo Carissimi (1656), Benjamin Britten (1952), and Israeli composer Aharon Harlap (1979).

The concert is the culmination of a series of multimedia, interfaith events that will include interactive forums, readings of original work by students in Portland’s Telling Room Young Writers and Leaders program, multimedia presentations by Emily Isaacson, and more.

Then Is Now
Sweetest in the Gale

Late April/early May in Falmouth and Brunswick
(Dates and locations to be confirmed)

“Then Is Now” explores how living composers have engaged traditional, folk, or historical music and translated it to a modern voice. Included in this stunning concert are the premiere of Baltic Trees, an Oratorio Chorale commission by Scott Ordway, called “an American response to Sibelius” by the Boston Globe, and the second-ever performance of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw’s Its Motion Keeps.

Chorale Cabaret

Members of the Chorale host their Cabaret, a tradition begun in 2001. Join us for varied, lively entertainment June 3. Location to be determined.

Open to the public free of charge; suggested donation $10 supports the Chorale’s Carolyn Johnson Fund for outreach and member scholarships.