“A Heidelberg Christmas at the Ritz,” featuring several ensembles and a carol sing-along, returns to the Ritz Theatre for the Performing Arts this year at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9. The concert will include portions of Handel’s “Messiah,” as has been a long-standing tradition at Heidelberg for more than a century.
“A Heidelberg Christmas continues an outstanding holiday tradition, while also continuing our cherished traditions from the past,” said Dr. John E. Owen, associate dean and director of the School of Music at Heidelberg.
The first of the two-part concert will feature holiday music performed by the University Community Chorus, under the direction of Dr. Paul Mayhew; the Concert Choir, under the direction of Dr. Greg Ramsdell; and the Chamber Winds. The second half will include arias and choruses from “Messiah,” plus the popular and stirring “Hallelujah” chorus. In between, the audience and performers will join for a carol sing-along.
Three soloists, along with alumni and the community, will come together for the “Messiah” portion of the program.
Performing the soprano solo will be Heidelberg alumna Kimberly States. Following graduation in 2009, she moved to Boston to pursue her master’s degree in music at the New England Conservatory of Music. While there, she performed in “The Lantern Marriage,” “Dido and Aeneas” and “Help, Help the Globolinks.” Additionally, she has been a featured soloist with the Boston Masterworks Chorale, Boston Metro Opera, Boston Opera Collaborative and others. She is a 2012-13 resident artist with the Boston Metro Opera, where she is scheduled to perform the role of Principle in “.Gabriel” and the role of Gaea in the world premier of Robert J. Bradshaw’s “Pandora” in 2013. When not singing, States works full time at T1D Exchange a non-profit organization devoted to improving the quality of life for those touched by Type 1 diabetes. She also is an advocate for the Accelerated Cure Project for Multiple Sclerosis.
The alto soloist will be Katherine Calcamuggio, who has been featured in important roles and company debuts across the U.S. She has been described as one of the most promising young vocalists on the opera scene today. Calcamuggio has received top prizes in the Palm Beach Opera, Bel Canto and Shreveport Singer of the Year competitions as well as from the Chicago Women’s Musician’s Club. Last year, she performed with Grammy-winning eighth blackbird. She has performed in Missouri, New York, New Jersey, Iowa, Virginia, Illinois and Ohio. She holds a master’s degree from Northwestern University and a bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University.
Tenor soloist Christopher Scholl returned to the U.S. after nearly 20 years in Europe, where he enjoyed a successful career in opera, oratorio and recitals. He has performed throughout Europe, singing in such cities as Munich, Mannheim, Kiel, Rostock, Paris, Marseilles and Trieste. His operatic repertoire embraces music from the Baroque to 20th century and Broadway. He excels in operetta and is at home on the concert stage, having performed numerous oratorios and song recitals throughout Europe and in the Midwest. A member of the voice faculty in the College of Musical Arts at Bowling Green State University, he earned his master’s degree from the Eastman School of Music and his bachelor’s degree from Ithaca College.
Tickets for “Christmas at the Ritz” are $10 for general admission, $8 for senior citizens and $6 for students. They can be purchased at the Ritz box office (419-448-8544) or by contacting the School of Music (419-448-2073). Those singing in the chorus will be admitted free of charge.