Handel's Messiah

Sat 3 Apr 2021, 3.00PM
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

Handel Messiah

Christian Curnyn Conductor
Jeni Bern Soprano
Hilary Summers Contralto
Benjamin Hulett Tenor
Michael Mofidian Bass-Baritone
RSNO Chorus  

The trumpet shall sound! Join us this Easter for the RSNO’s annual performance of Handel’s Messiah. From For Unto Us a Child is Born to the unforgettable Hallelujah chorus, this is simply some of the most uplifting music ever written. Conductor Christian Curnyn, the RSNO Chorus and a first-class team of soloists bring out all the glory and joy in this timeless masterpiece – don’t miss it!


£45, £39, £33, £26, £19


Under 18s go free when accompanied by a paying adult (max 2 free children per adult); 16-17 year olds go free; Under 26s/Mature Students £6 in advance/£8 after 5pm on the day; Unemployed £6; Disabled patrons and carers 50% off; Group discounts available.

Box Office

0141 353 8000

Featured Artists

Christian Curnyn

Christian Curnyn Conductor

Christian Curnyn is widely recognised as one of the UK’s leading conductors specialising in the Baroque and Classical repertoire. In 1994 Christian founded the Early Opera Company with whom he appears regularly at the Wigmore Hall and St John’s Smith Square for the London Festival of Baroque Music. They have also performed at the BBC Proms as well as the Cheltenham, Spitalfields, York Early Music and Kilkenny Arts Festivals.

Much in demand on the operatic scene, in the UK Christian has conducted for Scottish Opera (Handel’s Semele), Opera North (Handel’s Saul), Grange Park Opera (Semele, Mozart’s Le nozze de Figaro,/i>, and Cavalli’s Eliogabalo) and with Garsington Opera (Die Zauberflöte). He is a regular at English National Opera where successes have included Olivier Award winning productions of Handel’s Partenope and Rameau’s Castor et Pollux (dir. Barrie Kosky), After Dido (Katie Mitchell’s realisation of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Handel’s Giulio Cesare, Charpentier’s Médée, and Handel’s Rodelinda.

For The Royal Opera, Covent Garden he has conducted Britten’s The Beggar’s Opera, Cavalli’s L’Ormindo to inaugurate their series at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s The Globe, where he returned for Luigi Rossi’s Orfeo (nominated for an Olivier Award), and Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse at The Roundhouse.

Further afield he has worked with Opera Australia (Partenope), Landestheater Salzburg (Vivaldi’s Farnace and Handel’s Ariodante), Frankfurt Opera (Cavalli’s La Calisto and Gluck’s Ezio), Komische Oper Berlin (Rameau’s Castor et Pollux and Zoroastre), Stuttgart Opera (Rameau’s Platée, Purcell’s The Fairy Queen and Handel’s Alcina) and Teatro Nacional de Sao Carlos (Mozart’s Idomeneo). In the USA Christian has conducted Partenope and Cosi fan Tutte for New York City Opera, Handel’s Tolomeo for Glimmerglass Opera, and Cavalli’s Giasone and Charpentier’s Médée for Chicago Opera Theater.

Specialist early music ensembles Christian has worked with include Academy of Ancient Music, AKAMUS, English Concert, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and Irish and Wroclaw Baroque orchestras. Alongside this work he takes a particular interest in performing Baroque and Classical repertoire with modern forces, including collaborations with Bournemouth Symphony, Ulster, Hallé, Scottish Chamber (including a recording on the Decca label with Nicola Benedetti), Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Stavanger Symphony, and Philharmonie Essen. He recently conducted a Messiah tour in Australia with the Tasmanian, West Australian and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras.

Recent and forthcoming highlights include a double-bill of Blow Venus & Adonis and Dido & Aeneas with Early Opera Company (Amsterdam Concertgebouw debut for their NTR ZaterdagMatinee series), The Royal Opera, Covent Garden (Solomon), Opera North (Giulio Cesare), Theatre Basel (Le nozze di Figaro), Komische Oper Berlin (Jephtha), and further new productions for both The Royal Opera, Covent Garden and Garsington Opera, as well as performances with Concerto Köln and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

His extensive discography with the Early Opera Company for the Chandos label includes their 2005 recording of Partenope, which won widespread critical acclaim, and their recording of Semele was chosen as a Best Recording of 2008 by The Sunday Times, Editor’s Choice in Gramophone Magazine and was awarded the 2008 Stanley Sadie Handel Prize. Further releases include Il Trionfo del Tempo for Wigmore Live, Eccles’ The Judgement of Paris, (awarded a Diapason D’or), Britten’s The Beggar’s Opera, Handel’s Flavio, Alceste (winner of the Opera award in the BBC Music Magazine Awards 2013), Serse, and most recently Acis & Galetea (winner of the Opera category in the BBC Music Magazine Awards 2019).

Jeni  Bern

Jeni Bern Soprano

Jeni Bern is a graduate of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and the Opera School of the Royal College of Music where she was the winner of many major awards and prizes, including the prestigious President Emerita Award. She is also a Samling Artist.

Highlights in recent seasons include Professor Prentice in the world premiere of Anthropocene and First Lady The Magic Flute for Scottish Opera; Greta Fiorentino Street Scene at the Teatro Real; Woglinde and Waldvogel Der Ring des Nibelungen for Opera North; Lilli Vanessi/Katharine Kiss Me Kate for Welsh National Opera and Opera North; Susie Trevor Lady, Be Good! at the Teatro do la Zarzuela; and Fiordiligi in Phelim McDermott’s production of Cosi fan tutte for English National Opera.

Her varied stage roles have included Paquette Candide (Théâtre du Châtelet, Teatro alla Scala and Hyogo Performing Arts Centre, Japan); also for Théâtre du Châtelet – Zdenka Arabella and Sister Margaretta / Baroness Elsa The Sound of Music; Tytania A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Musetta La bohème, Susanna The Marriage of Figaro, Trixie Let ‘em Eat Cake, Gretel Hansel & Gretel and La Princesse L’enfant et les sortilèges (Opera North); Emma Jones Street Scene (Opéra de Toulon). Roles for the Royal Opera House, Coven Garden include Guardian of the Threshold Die Frau ohne Schatten, First Heavenly Voice Palestrina, Barbarina Le nozze di Figaro and Blumenmädchen Parsifal (with Plácido Domingo); Jano Jenufa (Glyndebourne); Mabel The Pirates of Penzance, Yum Yum The Mikado, Sophie Der Rosenkavalier and Amor Orpheus & Eurydice (English National Opera); Amour Orphée et Eurydice (Welsh National Opera); Medea Teseo and Susanna The Marriage of Figaro (English National Opera); Eurydice Orpheus in the Underworld (Opera Holland Park); Musetta La bohème and Oscar Un ballo in Maschera (Opera Zuid). She has also performed the title role in Deidamia and Sigismondo Arminio (London Handel Festival); Atalanta Xerxes and Dalinda Ariodante(Early Opera Company); and Narcissa Philemon und Baucis with Trevor Pinnock.

As an accomplished oratorio and concert artist, performance highlights include Cunegonde Candide (MDR-sinfonieorchester, Leipzig); Carmina Burana, Mozart Exsultate Jubilate and the world premiere of Michael Torke’s Book of Proverbs with Marin Alsop (Royal Scottish National Orchestra); and Handel Messiah under Sir David Willcocks (The Bach Choir). She has also performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Gabrieli Consort, The Sixteen, The Academy of St Martin in the Fields, St. Gallen Bachchor and the Doelen Ensemble.

Radio appearances include BBC Radio 2’s iconic Friday Night is Music Night and broadcasts for BBC Radios 3 & 4, and with the Dutch Radio Symphony Orchestra as Anne Truelove in the television series Of Beauty and Consolation. Her CD Let the Bright Seraphim with Baroque trumpeter Crispian Steele-Perkins (Carlton Classics) received considerable critical acclaim. Other recordings include Acis and Galatea with the Oxford Philomusica (Nimbus); Hayden Stabat Mater with Christ Church Cathedral Choir (Griffin) and Edward Joseph Collins Hymn to the Earth with the RSNO and Marin Alsop. Film and television work includes soundtracks for the BBC’s Daniel Deronda, the film Cashback and Disney’s African Cats.

In the current season Jeni makes her house debuts as Susie Trevor Lady, Be Good! at the Teatro di San Carlo and Greta Fiorentino Street Scene at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo. She also performs in Proms Concerts with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Hilary  Summers

Hilary Summers Contralto

Born in South Wales, contralto Hilary Summers has recorded over forty CDs spanning works from the early Baroque period to the present day and has sung in most of the major concert halls and opera houses around the world. Her three-octave range has excited the attention of many composers. She has sung in numerous world premieres including George Benjamin’s Into the Little Hill at the Bastille, Paris; Elliot Carter’s What Next at the Staatsoper, Berlin; Gerald Barry’s The Importance of Being Earnest in London and New York; Alice’s Adventures Under Ground with the LA Philharmonic Orchestra in Los Angeles and with Britten Sinfonia in London; Peter Eotvos’ Le Balcon at the Aix Festival and Facing Goya and War Work by Michael Nyman. Most recently she made her debut appearance at Teatro alla Scala, Milan singing ‘Nell’ in the world premiere of Kurtag’s Fin de Partie, before reprising the role for Dutch National Opera.

Hilary worked closely with the iconic composer and conductor Pierre Boulez from 2004. With the Ensemble Intercontemporain, they recorded his masterwork Le Marteau sans maître, for which she won a GRAMMY, and performed the piece worldwide. She also performed Le visage nuptial, Stravinsky’s Les Noces and Ligeti’s Adventures and Adventures Nouvelles under his inspirational baton.

A regular soloist with leading European period instrument ensembles, she has a close rapport with Christian Curnyn and the Early Opera Company with whom she has recorded Handel’s Semele, Partenope, Flavio, Serse, and Il trionfo del tempo. Other Baroque highlights include Handel’s Orlando (Medoro in Robert Carson’s production with William Christie and Les Arts Florissants); Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas (Sorceress in Deborah Warner’s production with Les Arts Florissants) and Handel’s Admeto (Trasimede with Christophe Rousset and Les Talons Lyriques at the Sydney Opera House).

Hilary sings internationally on the concert platform in a variety of repertoire from Bach to Birtwistle and has given over one hundred performances of Handel’s Messiah. Other favourite concert works include Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire and Mahler’s Symphonies 2, 3 and 8.

Operatic roles include Sorceress; Juno; Cornelia; Polinesso; Amadigi; Tisbe (La Cenerentola); Gaea (Daphne); Geneviève (Pelléas); Baba the Turk/Mother Goose; Hippolyta; Mrs Sedley; Bianca; Mescalina (Le Grand Macabre); Tiger Lily/Mrs Darling (Peter Pan) and Miss Prism in Gerald Barry’s The Importance of Being Earnest.

Film soundtracks include The Claim and The Libertine by Michael Nyman, The Fellowship of the Ring by Howard Shore and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Son of Rambo and the BBC TV series The League of Gentlemen by Joby Talbot.

Recent and future highlights include two appearances at the 2019 BBC Proms in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus under Sakari Oramo and the role of Storge in Handel’s Jeptha with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra under Richard Egarr, Mahler Symphony No8 under Vasily Petrenko with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, concerts with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, ORF Radio Symphony, Finnish Radio Symphony, Early Opera Company, La Serenissima and a tour with Europa Galane under Fabio Biondi. She also reprises the roles of White Queen and Dormouse in a new production of Gerald Barry’s Alice’s Adventures Under Ground at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

Benjamin  Hulett

Benjamin Hulett Tenor

Benjamin Hulett trained as a choral scholar at New College, Oxford and studied with David Pollard at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He was a member of the Hamburgische Staatsoper from 2005 to 2009. He has made his debuts at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, Theater an der Wien in the world premiere of Kalitzke’s Die Besessenen, the Salzburger Festspiele, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, and Opera di Roma. He sang Luzio Das Liebesverbot for Opera du Rhin Strasbourg and his first Tom Rakewell The Rake’s Progress in Caen, Limoges, Reims, Rouen and Luxembourg. In the UK, Benjamin has performed with Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Opera North, Grange Park Opera, Opera Holland Park, Garsington Opera, Welsh National Opera, and performed in Sir Jonathan Miller’s staging of St Matthew Passion at the National Theatre.

Benjamin has appeared regularly at the BBC Proms with Sir Roger Norrington, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Sir Andrew Davis and is increasingly in demand as an interpreter of song. Concert highlights have included Yeoman of the Guard (John Wilson) and Mendelssohn Symphony No2 (Edward Gardner) with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Arbace in Idomeneo with Fabio Biondi, Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings with Norrington and Christopher Hogwood, Die Frau Ohne Schatten at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw under Vladimir Jurowski, the title role in Bach’s Lucio Silla with Ivor Bolton at the Salzburg Mozartwoche, Bernstein’s A Quiet Place with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra under Kent Nagano, L’heure Espagnole with the Boston Symphony Orchestra (Charles Dutoit), and Tamino in concert with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle.

Benjamin’s recordings range from early baroque to new commissions and have received nominations and awards from BBC Music Magazine, Gramophone, Grammy, L’Orfee d’Or and Diapason.

The last two seasons saw his debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra in L’heure Espagnole (Dutoit), Andres Wozzeck for the Theater and der Wien, at Carnegie Hall performing Jupiter Semele as part of an English Concert tour around the USA and Europe (Harry Bicket), with the Teatro Real Madrid as Arbace Idomeneo and as David Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg in concert with the Santa Cecilia Orchestra and Antonio Pappano.

This season’s highlights include A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Simone Young) at the Wiener Staatsoper, a return to Covent Garden for Die Zauberflöte, Handel’s Saul (Théâtre du Châtelet), Fidelio at Theater an der Wien and his debut with the Hong Kong Philharmonic for Mozart’s Requiem.

Michael  Mofidian

Michael Mofidian Bass-Baritone

Winner of the 2018 Royal Over-Seas League Singers’ Prize and the 2017 Pavarotti Prize, Michael was born and raised in Glasgow, and educated at the University of Cambridge and the Royal Academy of Music. A student of Mark Wildman, Michael is a 2018-2020 Jette Parker Young Artist at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

A versatile singer and actor, Michael feels at home in a wide range of repertoire and styles. For the Royal Opera House his roles have and will include Narumov Queen of Spades, Alcade Forza del destino, Angelotti Tosca, Zuniga Carmen, Minotauros Phaedra (Linbury Studio Theatre), Johan Werther, Bass 1 Death in Venice, Dr Grenvil La Traviata, Judge and Chelsias Susanna and Deputy Don Carlo as well as covering the roles of Figaro Le nozze di Figaro and Colline La bohème.

He made his Glyndebourne Festival debut roles as the Doctor in Pelléas et Mélisande and the Imperial Commissioner in Madam Butterfly in the 2018 Festival, where he was a Jerwood Young Artist. Other operatic roles include Leporello Don Giovanni for British Youth Opera, Immigration Officer Flight, The Protector Written on Skin (scenes), Don Alfonso Cosi fan tutte (scenes) and the title role in Noyes Fludde. Future opera plans include the role of Masetto Don Giovanni and the role of Schlémil as well as covering Alex Esposito with the Four Villains in Tales of Hoffmann both for Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, as well as the role of Angelotti Tosca for Opera Dijon.

On the concert platform he will debut with the London Symphony Orchestra under Alan Gilbert performing Tippett’s A Child of Our Time, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia performing the role of Nightwatchman Die Meistersinger under Pappano and with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra in Bach’s St John Passion. Other concert work has included Verdi Requiem, Jesus, Pilate and arias in both Bach Passions, Haydn Creation, Handel Messiah, Stravinsky Les noces, Beethoven Symphony No9, Mozart Requiem, Fauré Requiem and Dvorák Stabat Mater.

Along with his duo partner Keval Shah, Michael was a joint winner of the 2017 Oxford Lieder Young Artist Platform, through which he has given recitals in the Oxford Lieder Festival and at St John’s, Smith Square. His love of Russian song has led to, among other things, a performance of Shostakovich orchestra songs conducted by Sir Mark Elder, and a recital at Kings Place alongside Sholto Kynoch, Joan Rodgers CBE and Guy Johnston. He has also performed in recital at Wigmore Hall, and at the Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh with Malcolm Martineau and will return to Oxford Lieder and Heidelberger Frühling.

In masterclasses and individual coaching sessions he has worked with Malcolm Martineau, Simon Keenlyside, Brindley Sherratt, Roderick Williams, James Gilchrist, Ann Murray CBE and Christopher Purves.

Michael is also a composer; his works include pieces for orchestra, instrumental chamber music, art songs and works for vocal ensemble, and his teachers have included Sir James MacMillan, Richard Causton and Robin Holloway.

 RSNO Chorus

RSNO Chorus  

The RSNO Chorus performs in around six different programmes in up to twenty concerts across Scotland with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra each year. The RSNO Chorus has also had great success in recording with the Orchestra. Its recordings, amongst others, of Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky, conducted by Neeme J?rvi, and Holst’s The Planets, conducted by David Lloyd-Jones, have both attracted high critical acclaim.

In addition to its commitment to the Orchestra, the RSNO Chorus performs independently and has been invited to perform with orchestras in many parts of the world, establishing an international status and touring to Copenhagen, Hong Kong, Israel, Germany, Belfast, Australia, Trondheim and most recently, Amsterdam and Prague. In 2018 it performed Britten’s War Requiem with the RSNO at the BBC Proms.

The RSNO Chorus evolved from a choir formed in 1843 to sing the first full performance of Handel’s Messiah in Scotland. Today, it is one of the most successful choruses in the UK. In recent years, it has performed practically every work in the standard choral repertoire along with contemporary works by renowned composers, including John Adams, Magnus Lindberg, Howard Shore and James MacMillan.

The RSNO Chorus is directed by Gregory Batsleer, one of the UK’s most dynamic and in demand choral conductors and chorus masters. In 2015 Gregory received The Arts Foundation Fellowship in Choral Conducting.

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