Society features

The Oratorio Society of New York announces 2022-23 season with performances at Carnegie Hall

The New York Oratorio Societyled by Music Director Kent Tritle, today announces its 2022-23 season with three concerts at the Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage in Carnegie Hall. The 22-23 season includes a newly commissioned world premiere; the 148th year of its performances of Handel’s Messiah, a venerable New York holiday tradition; and Bach’s Mass in B minor, a benchmark in Baroque choral works.

The season starts on November 15, 2022 at 8:00 p.m. with the world premiere of A Nation of Others by Paul Moravec and Marc Campbell, the Pulitzer Prize-winning team that created OSNY’s hugely successful Sanctuary Road. In a moving and dynamic score, A Nation of Others explores the individual and collective experiences of immigrants – many of whom were also refugees – when they arrive at Ellis Island on a single day in 1921. As the work examines the hardships immigrants may face, it also celebrates the fusion of diverse cultures that give our country its identity.

To complete the program, Robert Paterson‘s Whitman’s America, a presentation of six poems from Whitman’s final version of Leaves of Grass. The selected poems demonstrate the intimate directness, colorful descriptions and sense of optimism found in many of Whitman’s works. Paterson views each movement as a vision Whitman may have imagined as he neared death and highlights various themes present in Whitman’s poetry. With instrumentation designed to be identical to Brahms’ Requiem, Whitman’s America celebrates nature and the role humans play in it as individuals and as Americans.

Featured soloists joining OSNY for this performance include sopranos Susanna Phillips and Maeve Höglund, mezzo-soprano Raehann Bryce-Davis, tenor Martin Bakaribaritone Steven Eddy and bass-baritone Joseph Beutelin conjunction with the Society Orchestra, conducted by Music Director Kent Tritle.

Continuing the season, the Oratorio Society of New York presents its 148th performance of Handel’s Messiah on December 19, 2022 at 8:00 p.m. A holiday staple since 1874, this year’s performance, led by Maestro Tritle on the podium, features soloists soprano Maria Brea, contralto Heather Petrietenor Joshua Blue and baritone Jesse Blumbergin collaboration with the Society’s Orchestra.

The season ends with the Mass in B Minor by JS Bach on May 8, 2023 at 8:00 p.m. Bach’s remarkable and singular staging of the full text of the Mass encompasses the full gamut of human experience, from joy to sorrow and from solemnity to praise. Composed over a 25-year period, the work is divided into four sections, beginning with the Kyrie and the Gloria. Written in 1733, the work is divided into five sections and is distinguished by the perfection of its symmetry and form. Maestro Tritle conducts the Society Orchestra and choir, alongside soloists soprano Emily Donato, mezzo-soprano Lucia Bradford, tenor Brian Gieblerand baritone Outlaw Sidney. OSNY’s long history with the play includes a 15-year period of successive performances between 1925 and 1941.

“I’m so thrilled to lead the world premiere of A Nation of Others,” music director Kent Tritle said when announcing the 2022-23 season. “The Oratorio Society of New York has increasingly embraced new music, and this promises to be a milestone in our history. The dramatic trajectory created by Marc Campbell and Paul Moravec promises to propel this message of “what makes America great” to greater appreciation and understanding. The artwork depicts the stories of unsung heroes – real people who risked their lives to come to America with hopes and aspirations. Handel’s Messiah and Bach’s Mass in B minor complete our season. These two Baroque masterpieces probe the resources of this choir; we are thrilled to show our constituents that yes, a grand romantic choir can indeed scale the heights of these landmarks, engendering transparency, flexibility and deep emotional connection from start to finish.”

OSNY’s 2022-23 season also includes the 46th edition Lyndon Woodside Solo Oratorio Competition April 15, 2023 at 1:30 p.m. at the Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall. The annual competition features eight young singers performing major oratorio tunes with piano accompaniment. OSNY Music Director Kent Tritle and a panel of distinguished judges choose the winners and award cash prizes. Winners performed with OSNY and other organizations at Carnegie Hall and other major NYC sites. Founded in 1977, the competition is the only major vocal competition dedicated to oratorio singing with the aim of nurturing the careers of aspiring oratorio soloists and their commitment to the oratorio repertoire.

Subscriptions for the three concerts at the Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage are available with a 15% discount until September 23 by visiting osny.org. Tickets are also available through carnegiehall.orgCarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800, or Carnegie Hall Box office at 57th and 7th.