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King of Kings and Lord of Lords

Experience this holiday favorite in all its historical glory as Handel master Nicholas McGegan and America’s leading period instrument Orchestra and Chorale perform with an international cast of stars. Don’t miss PBO’s Messiah in Berkeley and now, for the first time in seven years, in San Francisco too.

HANDEL Messiah, HWV 56

Nicholas McGegan, conductor
Yulia Van Doren, soprano
Diana Moore, mezzo-soprano
James Reese, tenor
Philip Cutlip, baritone
Philharmonia Chorale, Bruce Lamott, director


Friday December 8, 2017 @ 7 pm | Herbst Theatre, San Francisco
Saturday December 9, 2017 @ 7 pm | First Congregational Church, Berkeley
Sunday December 10, 2017 @ 3 pm | Weill Hall, Green Music Center, Rohnert Park

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Yulia Van Doren


Recognized by Opera as “A star-to-be” following her Lincoln Center debut, young Russian-American soprano Yulia Van Doren’s debut with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra was acclaimed as a “revelation… a ravishing lyric voice and an ease with vocal ornamentation that turned her into an enchanted songbird” (Toronto Star). For her last minute step-in with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Cleveland Plain Dealer praised Van Doren as an artist of “melting poignancy” and added, “To Van Doren, one could easily have listened for hours.”

Highlighting Ms. Van Doren’s 2017/18 season are appearances with Colorado Symphony (Mozart’s Requiem); Music of the Baroque (Bach’s St. John Passion); her return to Milwaukee Symphony (Bach’s Magnificat); and performances of Handel’s Messiah with Houston Symphony, Early Music Vancouver, and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale.

A dedicated interpreter of repertoire off the beaten path, career highlights include creating the lead female role in the world premiere of Shostakovich’s Orango with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, directed by Peter Sellars and released on Deutsche Grammophon; two Grammy-nominated opera recordings with the Boston Early Music Festival; the modern revival of Monsigny’s opera Le roi et le fermier at Opera de Versailles, Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center (recorded for Naxos); a tour of Handel’s Orlando with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra to the Mostly Mozart, Ravinia and Tanglewood festivals; a leading role in Scarlatti’s Tigrane at Opera de Nice; nationally-televised performances at the Cartagena International Music Festival with soprano Dawn Upshaw, an important mentor; and creating a leading role in the world premiere staging of Lera Auerbach’s The Blind, an a cappella opera, in the Lincoln Center Festival. Especially recognized for her work in the baroque repertoire, Ms. Van Doren has performed with the majority of the North American Baroque festivals and orchestras, and has the distinction of being the only singer awarded a top prize in all four US Bach vocal competitions.

Other recent debuts and engagements include performances with the San Francisco, Toronto, Houston, Cincinnati, Nashville, Baltimore, Indianapolis, and Milwaukee Symphonies; the Cleveland Orchestra; the Los Angeles Master Chorale; Washington D.C.’s Folger Consort; and two trips to the Netherlands for performances with the Radio Kamer Filharmonie.

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Diana Moore


English mezzo-soprano Diana Moore is being lauded on both sides of the Atlantic for her “emotional depth” (The Guardian), “thrilling” technical bravura (Gramophone), and “rich, evocative sound” (San Francisco Chronicle). She enjoys a varied and international career of opera, oratorio, and concert performances, and is a popular soloist at many major music festivals.

Ms. Moore’s tall and graceful stature has made her the ideal trouser-role performer. With conductor Nicholas McGegan and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Moore performed the role of “Medoro” in Handel’s Orlando in an acclaimed American tour at the Ravinia Festival, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, and Tanglewood Festival. Recent concert engagements of note include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony along with selections from Mahler’s Des Knabun Wunderhorn with Royal Northern Sinfonia and Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius at Royal Albert Hall and Winchester, Ely, Gloucester, and York Minster Cathedrals.

As a recording artist, Moore is a soloist on the premiere recording of Vivaldi’s La Gloria di Primavera released in 2016 with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra which was selected as an “Editor’s Choice” recording in Gramophone. Her recording of Handel’s Parnasso in Festa with King’s Consort and conductor Matthew Halls was the winner of the Stanley Sadie Handel Recording Prize.

Ms. Moore’s charismatic vocal quality and training place her firmly within the fine heritage of English mezzo-sopranos. She is committed to celebrating the music and musicians of her homeland and has built a reputation as a leading exponent of English song. In 2007, she devised Kathleen Ferrier — Her Life, Letters & Music, to honor that legendary English singer, a program that has been endorsed by the Kathleen Ferrier Society.

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James Reese


James Reese is an avid ensemble, chamber, and solo musician whose singing has been praised for its “intensity and sensitivity…spirituality and eloquence.” (Chestnut Hill Local) This season, James looks forward to Messiah with Nicholas McGegan and Philharmonia Baroque; Bach’s Reformation cantatas and the Mass in G Major with Juilliard 415 conducted by Masaaki Suzuki; American Voices, a recording and tour of American music with the Santa Fe Desert Chorale; Monteverdi Vespers with Choral Arts Philadelphia; singing the Evangelist in the St. John Passion under David Hill; and a tour of Spain with Yale Schola Cantorum and the Yale Voxtet.

He also looks forward to his Carnegie Hall solo debut in Bach’s B Minor Mass with the New York Choral Society, directed by David Hayes.

Previously, James has appeared throughout the United States and internationally, including a tour of India singing Bach Magnificat and the world premiere of Reena Esmail’s This Love Between Us with Yale’s Schola Cantorum and Juilliard 415. Other highlights have included Handel’s Samson at the Ad Astra Music Festival; his debut as a Bach evangelist in Christmas Oratorio with Choral Arts Philadelphia; lute songs in recital with Nigel North; performances at Big Ears New Music Festival; Britten’s Canticle IV with hornist Josh Thompson; Handel’s rarely-performed Occasional Oratorio with Yale Schola Cantorum; and Messiah with the Reading Choral Society and Yale Glee Club.

An advocate for new music, James is a founding member of Philadelphia vocal sextet Variant 6 ( He has premiered works by Ted Hearne, John Luther Adams, Judd Greenstein, Joel Puckett, Gabriel Jackson, and others. He has recorded on the ECM, Innova, and Albany labels; including the 2016 GRAMMY-Nominated Bonhoeffer, released by the Crossing.

Originally a native of Philadelphia, James is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, where he studied with Kurt R. Hansen, Alan Darling, and Donald Nally. He currently studies with tenor James Taylor at Yale University’s Institute of Sacred Music, pursuing a master’s degree as a member of the Yale Voxtet.

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Philip Cutlip


Philip Cutlip has garnered consistent critical acclaim for his performances across North America and Europe. His stylistic palette ranges from early Baroque through Romantic to contemporary musical genres, on both concert and opera stages.  He has performed with a distinguished list of conductors during his career that includes Patrick Summers, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Gerard Schwarz, and Donald Runnicles, among many others. His appearance as Joseph De Rocher in Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, with Joyce DiDonato and Frederica von Stade for Houston Grand Opera, has been released on Virgin Records.

During the 2016-17 season, Philip sang Messiah with Minnesota Orchestra, then went on to sing his first Don Alfonso in Mozart’s Cosí Fan Tutte, to great acclaim.  This was followed by another role debut in Eugene, Oregon, singing Méphistophélé in Berlioz’s La Damnation du Faust, under the baton of Danail Rachev.  The Eugene Weekly described him “As Mephisto, Cutlip was quick, engaging and theatrical, a perfect foil to Plenk’s straight-man Faust.”

Philip has appeared with many of the leading orchestras of North America, including the Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and many others.  His 2014-15 season engagements included the title role in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro in a return to Sarasota Opera, several roles in Weill’s The Road of Promise with New York’s Collegiate Chorale, and soloist in Messiah with the Winston-Salem Symphony.

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[vcex_button url=”” layout=”expanded” custom_background=”#ffba00″ color=”black” custom_color=”#000000″ font_family=”Josefin Sans” font_weight=”bold” font_size=”16″]Fri. Dec. 8 | 7 pm
Herbst Theatre
San Francisco[/vcex_button]
[vcex_button url=”” layout=”expanded” custom_background=”#ffba00″ color=”black” custom_color=”#000000″ font_family=”Josefin Sans” font_weight=”bold” font_size=”16″]Sat. Dec. 9 | 7 pm
First Congregational
[vcex_button url=”” layout=”expanded” custom_background=”#ffba00″ color=”black” custom_color=”#000000″ font_family=”Josefin Sans” font_weight=”bold” font_size=”16″]Sun. Dec. 10 | 3 pm
Green Music Center
Rohnert Park[/vcex_button]

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