Carnegie Hall Presents "The Nativity Triptych"--Three Concerts Featuring Musical Depictions of the Nativity, December 11-13


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“The Nativity Triptych" Includes Handel's Messiah and Bach's Christmas Oratorio Performed by Les Violons du Roy, La Chapelle de Qubec and Bernard Labadie, Friday, December 11 and Saturday, December 12

Third Concert Features John Adams's El Nino, a Modern Nativity Oratorio, with Orchestra of St. Luke's on Sunday, December 13

Vocal Soloists Include Rosemary Joshua, David Daniels, Michelle DeYoung, Dawn Upshaw, Eric Owens, and More

From December 11-13, Carnegie Hall presents “The Nativity Triptych"--a weekend devoted to sacred holiday music featuring performances in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage of three landmark choral works based on the Nativity story, told from the perspectives of three very different composers and spanning over 250 years.

Music Director Bernard Labadie conducts his acclaimed chamber orchestra Les Violons du Roy and choir La Chapelle de Quebec--with soprano Rosemary Joshua, countertenor David Daniels, tenor Jan Kobow, baritone Joshua Hopkins, and bass-baritone Andrew Foster Williams--in two programs: Handel's Messiah of 1741 on Friday, December 11 at 8:00 p.m., which positions the nativity within the larger context of Jesus' life; and Bach's 1734 Christmas Oratorio on Saturday, December 12 at 8:00 p.m., which comprises six cantatas, each with beautiful chorales depicting the birth of Jesus.

Audiences will then leap forward more than 250 years for the final concert of the series on Sunday, December 13 at 8:00 p.m. featuring the first Carnegie Hall performance of John Adams' 2000 nativity oratorio El Nio, which draws on English, Spanish, and Latin sources ranging from pre-Christian prophets, Martin Luther's Christmas Sermon, passages from the Gospel of Luke, several gnostic gospels from the Apocrypha, and mid-20th century Hispanic women writers including Rosario Castellanos. El Nino is performed in a concert version with the composer conducting the Orchestra of St. Luke's; soprano Dawn Upshaw; mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung; bass-baritone Eric Owens; countertenors Daniel Bubeck, Brian Cummings, and Steven Rickards; the Westminster Symphonic Choir; and The Brooklyn Youth Chorus.

Artist Information

Chamber orchestra Les Violons du Roy borrows its name from the renowned string orchestra of the court of the French kings. The group, which has a core membership of fifteen players, was brought together in 1984 by music director Bernard Labadie and specializes in the vast repertoire of music for chamber orchestra, performed in the stylistic manner most appropriate to each era. Although the ensemble plays on modern instruments, its approach to the works of the Baroque and Classical periods has been strongly influenced by current research into performance practice in the 17th and early 18th centuries; in this repertoire Les Violons du Roy uses copies of period bows. The orchestra has been widely acclaimed for the exceptional energy, brilliance, and vitality of its performances. In recent seasons, under the leadership of first guest conductor Jean-Marie Zeitouni, the orchestra has begun to explore 19th and 20th century repertoire in more depth.

La Chapelle de Qubec, founded by Bernard Labadie in 1985, is a nationally-based chamber choir of professional singers recruited mainly in Qubec City, but also throughout Qubec and Canada. It assembles for two or three concerts each season to join Les Violons du Roy in major works from the repertory for choir and orchestra, especially from the 18th century. Its performances of cantatas, oratorios, and masses by Bach, Handel, Mozart, and Haydn have been acclaimed throughout Canada and the United States, in particular thanks to many broadcasts by Radio-Canada, the CBC, and NPR in the United States.

As founder and music director of Les Violons du Roy and La Chapelle de Qubec, Bernard Labadie continues to play a key role in the regular season of both ensembles in Qubec City and Montral, and regularly joins them on tour at some of the most prestigious venues in North America and Europe. Under his leadership, Les Violons du Roy and La Chapelle de Qubec have recorded over 15 albums for the Dorian, Atma, and Virgin Classics labels--winners of two Juno Awards and one Flix Award. A new album of concertos by C.P.E. Bach with Norwegian cellist Truls Mrk was recorded in November 2008 for Virgin Classics. Mr. Labadie is also one of North America's leading guest conductors, most recently making his debut with the Metropolitan Opera in New York conducting Mozart's The Magic Flute. Next season, he will conduct the New York, Saint Louis, and Los Angeles symphony orchestras and will conduct the Academy of Ancient Music in London in 2011 for the first time. As a leading ambassador for music in his native city of Qubec, Bernard Labadie was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2005 and a Knight of the Ordre national du Qubec in 2006. In 2008, he received the Banff Centre's National Arts Award for his contribution to the development of the arts in Canada, as well as an honorary doctorate from Laval University.

Celebrating its 35th season, the Orchestra of St. Luke's performs approximately 100 orchestral, chamber, and educational concerts throughout New York each year, all showcasing the hallmark collaborative spirit that has garnered consistent critical acclaim for its vibrant music-making. In addition to its series of concerts in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, the Orchestra of St. Luke's continues a 20-year collaborative relationship with Carnegie Hall that currently includes participation in such Carnegie events as the Choral Workshop, Family Concerts, and concert presentations of musical theater, including the recent performance of Kern and Hammerstein's Show Boat and the presentation, recording, and telecast of Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific. The Orchestra has also been engaged throughout the year in a number of artistic collaborations, including the US premiere of Paul McCartney's Ecce Cor Meum at Carnegie Hall, and serves each summer as orchestra-in-residence at the Caramoor Festival.

One of America's most admired and respected composers, John Adams is a musician of enormous range and technical command. His works, both operatic and symphonic, stand out among contemporary classical compositions for their depth of expression, brilliance of sound, and the profoundly humanist nature of their themes. Over the past 25 years, Mr. Adams's music has played a decisive role in turning the tide of contemporary musical aesthetics away from academic modernism toward a more expansive, expressive language, entirely characteristic of his New World surroundings. John Adams is also an active conductor, appearing with the world's greatest orchestras and with programs combining his own works with others by composers as diverse as Debussy, R. Strauss, Sibelius, Stravinsky, Ravel, Ives, and Ellington, as well as his contemporaries Zappa, Reich, Glass, and Michael Gordon. As a guest conductor in the U.S. and Europe, he has conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and London Symphony Orchestra, among others. As the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer's Chair at Carnegie Hall from 2003-07, Adams conducted the first public concert in Zankel Hall and programmed an annual festival entitled “In Your Ear". On May 10, 2010 at 7:30 p.m. John Adams returns to Carnegie Hall to conduct Ensemble ACJW in Zankel Hall as part of composer Louis Andriessen's Composer's Chair residency.

Program Information
Friday, December 11 at 8:00 p.m.

Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage
Les Violons du Roy
La Chapelle de Quebec
Bernard Labadie, Music Director and Conductor
Rosemary Joshua, Soprano
David Daniels, Countertenor
Jan Kobow, Tenor
Andrew Foster Williams, Bass-Baritone


Tickets: $31, $37, $47, $63, $85, $93

Saturday, December 12 at 8:00 p.m.
Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage

Les Violons du Roy
La Chapelle de Quebec
Bernard Labadie, Music Director and Conductor
Rosemary Joshua, Soprano
David Daniels, Countertenor
Jan Kobow, Tenor
Joshua Hopkins, Baritone


This concert and the Choral Classics series are made possible, in part, by an endowment fund for choral music established by S. Donald Sussman in memory of Judith Arron and Robert Shaw.

Tickets: $31, $37, $47, $63, $85, $93

Sunday, December 13 at 8:00 p.m.
Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage

Orchestra of St. Luke's
John Adams, Conductor
Dawn Upshaw, Soprano
Michelle DeYoung, Mezzo-Soprano
Eric Owens, Bass-Baritone
Daniel Bubeck, Countertenor
Brian Cummings, Countertenor
Steven Rickards, Countertenor
Westminster Symphonic Choir
Joe Miller, Conductor
The Brooklyn Youth Chorus
Dianne Berkun, Director
Mark Grey, Sound Design


Tickets: $28, $33, $41, $54, $72, $79

Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.

Ticket Information

Tickets are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website, carnegiehall.org.

For Carnegie Hall Corporation presentations taking place in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, a limited number of seats, priced at $10, will be available day-of-concert beginning at 11:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 12:00 noon on Sunday until one hour before the performance or until supply lasts. The exceptions are Carnegie Hall Family Concerts and gala events. These $10 tickets are available to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis at the Carnegie Hall Box Office only. There is a two-ticket limit per customer.

In addition, for all Carnegie Hall presentations in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage a limited number of partial view (seats with obstructed or limited sight lines or restricted leg room) will be sold for 50% of the full price. For more information on this and other discount ticket programs, including those for students, Notables members, and Bank of America customers, visit carnegiehall.org/discounts.

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