“For many New Yorkers of a classical bent, the holiday season officially begins with the two performances of Handel’s “Messiah” at St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue…Ms. Bragle and Mr. Bell were especially strong, pliant and communicative.” – Read more at nytimes.com.
“Thomas Cooley brought a vibrant and forceful tenor to Judas…Cooley was consistently strong of voice and alive to the text—ardent and elegant in “No unhallow’d desire” and delivering a clarion “Sound an alarm!” Bragle brought a natural ease and nobility to her arias and Van Doren conveyed her solos with a fresh, graceful quality. Van […]
“Conductor Matthew Halls seems to have absorbed all the best of current thinking on how the works should be performed and added a bit of elegance with his own insights. Need I add that the orchestra played beautifully?” “A special nod must go to soprano Sherezade Panthaki for the purity of her voice and the […]
“Maestro Halls’ conducting is very energetic, and reflects great confidence in demanding precisely what he wants from the orchestra and from the choir. I have often thought that by closely observing a conductor, one could determine if the conductor was primarily a choral conductor or a symphonic conductor. I say that because choral conductors sometimes […]
“A fine quartet of vocal soloists added emotional resonance to the performance. Tenor Thomas Cooley sang the Evangelist’s lines with bold, dramatic flair. In the soprano solos, Sherezade Panthaki was a model of Baroque style and interpretive acuity, and she entered into enchanting conversation with a pinpoint member of the chorus in the echo aria […]