Bach’s Christmas Oratorio
December 11December 15, 2019
Bach’s festive Christmas Oratorio is a feast of orchestral colors, with trumpets, timpani, flutes, oboes, bassoon, and strings. Guest conductor Julian Wachner, along with concertmaster Olivier Brault, leads Parts 1, 2, 5 & 6 of the oratorio.

“Wachner led vital, energetic performances, richly expressive.”

PRE-CONCERT TALK with timpanist Matthew Bassett and cellist René Schiffer, 1 hour before each concert. Sponsored by Marguerite Harkness, CPA.
[box]PLUS! Mini-Matinée Performance (1 hour)
Saturday, December 14, 3:00pm
First Baptist Church, SHAKER HEIGHTS
Click here for details.[/box]

Join the musicians for German chocolate cake and sparkling cider to usher in the holidays. FREE!

Hear the Music

No.1 Chorus: “Jauchzet, frohlocket”
English Baroque Soloists | John Eliot Gardiner | Bach’s Christmas Oratorio

Meet the Artists

Wednesday, December 11, 2019, 7:30PM
St. Noel Catholic Church, WILLOUGHBY HILLS
Thursday, December 12, 2019, 7:30PM
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, AKRON
Friday, December 13, 2019, 8:00PM
CLEVELAND Museum of Art (Gartner Auditorium)
Saturday, December 14, 2019, 3:00PM
First Baptist Church, SHAKER HEIGHTS
BACH PROJECT: Mini-Matinee Performance (1 hour)
Saturday, December 14, 2019, 8:00PM
First Baptist Church, SHAKER HEIGHTS
Sunday, December 15, 2019, 4:00PM
St. Raphael Catholic Church, BAY VILLAGE
FREE Afterglow!
Julian Wachner,guest conductor
Molly Netter,soprano
Daniel Moody,countertenor
Steven Soph,tenor
Jesse Blumberg,baritone
Apollo’s Singers

These concerts are made possible by the generous support of William P. Blair III.

Musical Angel with Violin (fresco), Forli, Melozzo da (1438-94) / Vatican Museums and Galleries, Vatican City / Bridgeman Images

“The U.S.A.’s hottest baroque band.” –CLASSICAL MUSIC MAGAZINE (UK)


Molly Netter, soprano, enlivens complex and beautiful music, both old and new, with a voice described as “crisp and clear, white yet warm” (Seen and Heard International).

Known for having “exquisite poise” (NY Times) and “[embuing] every word of the text with signification” (The Examiner), she has performed as a soloist with the GRAMMY-nominated Choir of Trinity Wall Street, Les Canards Chantants, the Clarion Music Society, the Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra, the Albany Symphony, Yale Opera, Heartbeat Opera, and Experiments in Opera, as well as with Juilliard415 at Lincoln Center, touring internationally in Japan, Singapore and Burma under Masaaki Suzuki and with the Triplepoint contemporary/jazz ensemble.

Ms. Netter holds an ad hoc Bachelor of Music degree in composition and contemporary voice from Oberlin Conservatory and a Master’s degree in early music voice and oratorio from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music where she studied with James Taylor. Between degrees, she taught English in Kyoto, Japan.


Countertenor Daniel Moody has garnered widespread acclaim for his “sweet and melancholy sound” (The Washington Post) and his ability to “pierce hearts” and “utterly silence a room” (The Boston Musical Intelligencer). Cited for a “vocal resonance, [that] makes a profoundly startling impression” (The New York Times) and for his “vivid and powerful” voice (The Boston Musical Intelligencer), Mr. Moody is equally celebrated for his interpretations of contemporary and baroque works.

Moody’s opera appearances have included the title roles in Handel’s Giulio Cesare and Rinaldo, Arsamene in Xerxes, Lichas in Hercules, Didymus in Theodora, Oberon in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, L’Enfant in Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortileges, and as the “eerie yet forceful” (Broadway World) leading role of Man #1 in the world premiere of Desire by composer Hannah Lash. Moody recently appeared as Nerone in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea at Cincinnati Opera. American Record Guide raved about “how versatile (Moody) and his voice have become,” and spoke of “numerous moments of utter beauty…where he would start singing ever so sweetly and then just let his voice blossom out into something big and round and smooth.”

Moody’s upcoming performances include debuts with Opera Lafayette (Venus and Adonis) and Minnesota Orchestra (Messiah), a tour of St. Matthew Passion with Apollo’s Fire, Handel’s Orlando at Staunton Festival and the premiere of Elena Ruehr’s Cosmic Cowboy, to be performed in the fall of 2020 with White Snake Projects.

“Moody delivered a combination of tenderness and theatrical verve” (San Francisco Chronicle) in his recent duet concert with mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra (Nicholas McGegan), and his performance of the title role in Handel’s Rinaldo led the San Diego Story to declare, “Moody’s voice grows stronger and brighter as it ascends. He may help create a new operatic vocal category: Helden Countertenor.” Daniel has also performed roles in Mark Morris’ productions of Britten’s Curlew River and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas at BAM (Howard Gilman Opera House) and at the Tanglewood Music Festival where the Financial Times noted his “inspired and absorbing performances.”

Moody recently made his Carnegie Hall Stern Auditorium debut with Oratorio Society of New York and also with Musica Sacra (Kent Tritle), and has performed as soloist with the Atlanta Symphony (Thomas Søndergård conducting), Les Violons du Roy in Québec City, (Bernard Labadie), Apollo’s Fire, The Cleveland Baroque Orchestra (Jeannette Sorrell), the Portland Baroque Orchestra (David Hill), and symphonies of Illinois, Charleston (Ken Lam), and Winston-Salem (Robert Moody). He gave the American premiere of George Benjamin’s intricate Dream of the Song (Stefan Asbury) at the Festival of Contemporary Music at Tanglewood Festival. He has also appeared with numerous early music groups including Boston, Indianapolis and Washington Early Music Festivals, renowned group Acronym at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado, Mountainside Baroque (Maryland) and La Fiocco (Pennsylvania).



An active Bach interpreter, Steven has “expertly inhabited” (Chicago Classical Review) and “intoned the long, intricate and gruelingly difficult lines of the Evangelist with precision of pitch and rhythm” (Palm Beach Arts Paper) in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Chicago Chorale and Seraphic Fire (Mendelssohn version). He performed “with a tenor ranging from feathered intimacies to powerful, glinting top notes” (The Dallas Morning News) and was deemed “first-class across the board” (Chicago Classical Review) as the Evangelist in Bach’s St. John Passion with the University of North Texas’ Collegium (1725 version) and Chicago Chorale. Steven appeared in Bach’s B minor Mass with Symphony Orchestra Augusta, the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, and Chicago Chorale; Bach’s Magnificat with Voices of Ascension, True Concord Voices & Orchestra, and Seraphic Fire; and employed “brilliant clarity and warm color” (South Florida Classical Review) in Bach’s Easter Oratorio with Seraphic Fire. Additionally, Steven has performed as the Evangelist in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Bach Society of St. Louis, Brown University, and Boston University’s Marsh Chapel; as the Evangelist in Bach’s St. John Passion with Boston University’s Marsh Chapel and Concord Chorale; performed arias in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Voices of Ascension, Chicago Chorale, and Colorado Bach Ensemble; arias in Bach’s St. John Passion with Spire Chamber Ensemble (Kansas City) and Musikanten Montana; and brought his “excellent lyric tenor” (South Florida Classical Review) to BWV 34 and The Cleveland Orchestra, under Franz Welser-Möst.



enjoys a busy schedule of opera, concerts, and recitals, performing repertoire from the Renaissance and Baroque to the 20th and 21st centuries. His performances have included the world premiere of The Grapes of Wrath at Minnesota Opera, Bernstein’s MASS at London’s Royal Festival Hall, various productions with Boston Early Music Festival, and featured roles with Atlanta Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Opera Atelier, and Boston Lyric Opera. Jesse has made concert appearances with American Bach Soloists, Boston Baroque, Apollo’s Fire, Oratorio Society of New York, Montréal Baroque Festival, Arion Baroque, Early Music Vancouver, Pacific MusicWorks, and on Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series. His recital highlights include appearances with the Marilyn Horne Foundation and New York Festival of Song, and performances of Die schöne Müllerin and Winterreise with pianist Martin Katz. Jesse has given the world premieres of Ricky Ian Gordon’s Green Sneakers, Lisa Bielawa’s The Lay of the Love and Death, Conrad Cummings’ Positions 1956, and Tom Cipullo’s Excelsior, and works closely with several other renowned composers as a member of the Mirror Visions Ensemble.

In 2018 Jesse returns to American Bach Soloists, Opera Atelier, TENET, New York Festival of Song, Berkshire Choral Festival and Oratorio Society of New York, debuts with Portland Baroque Orchestra, Voices of Music, and The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. He also collaborates with the Diderot String Quartet for concerts in New Hampshire, New York and Washington, D.C., and performs recitals in Iowa, Minnesota, Connecticut, and Paris.

Jesse has been featured on nearly twenty commercial recordings, including the 2015 Grammy-winning Charpentier Chamber Operas with Boston Early Music Festival. His recent releases include Bach cantatas with Montréal Baroque, Winterreise with pianist Martin Katz, Rosenmüller cantatas with ACRONYM, and St. John Passion with Apollo’s Fire. He has been recognized in several competitions, and was awarded Third Prize at the 2008 International Robert Schumann Competition in Zwickau, becoming its first American prizewinner in over thirty years. Jesse received a Master of Music degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and received undergraduate degrees in History and Music from the University of Michigan. Jesse is also the founder and artistic director of Five Boroughs Music Festival, which brings chamber music of many genres to every corner of New York City.


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