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Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus
November 19 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
HEROIC HANDEL!: Handel’s ‘Judas Maccabaeus’
Heroes deserve heroic music! There is no composer more celebrated for telling the stories of heroes than George Frideric Handel, the same composer of the universally loved The Messiah. Judas Maccabaeus was indeed a hero and Saratoga Voices wants to tell his story. On Friday, November 19, 2021, 7:30 PM, at the newly renovated Universal Preservation Hall (UPH), Saratoga Voices is performing a semi-staged version of Handel’s oratorio, Judas Maccabaeus. “The story is incredibly relevant today. The music is fiery, triumphant, beautiful and engaging,” says Dr. William Jon Gray, Artistic Director of Saratoga Voices. Come experience the latest state-of-the-art performing arts center located in Saratoga Springs NY.
Judas Maccabeus was a Jewish freedom fighter and military genius who defended his country from invasion and secured freedom of religion for the Jewish people in 160 BC. Handel composed this oratorio, which is the story of Judas’ life set to music, in 1746. It has become Handel’s most popular oratorio, second only to The Messiah.
To perform two of the lead roles, Saratoga Voices has engaged the talent of two internationally and nationally renowned vocal artists with strong dramatic experience. Tenor Thomas Cooley sings the title role of Judas Maccabaeus and baritone Jesse Blumberg sings the equally heroic role of Simon, the brother of Judas.
Thomas Cooley, singing the role of Judas Maccabaeus, has been praised by the New York Times for his “sweet, penetrating lyric tenor with aching sensitivity.” Cooley has performed many of the great tenor roles in the operas of Mozart and performs regularly with major orchestras. He is renowned for his agility in Baroque music and is in demand as an interpreter of works by Bach and Handel. He is the perfect Judas and Saratoga Voices is honored to share the stage with him.
Dubbed “a golden-tone baritone” by the New York Times, Jesse Blumberg, singing the role of Simon, enjoys a busy schedule of opera, concerts, and recitals. He has been featured on over twenty commercial recordings, including a 2015 Grammy-winning recording with Early Music Festival. In search of the perfect hero to sing the role of Judas’ brother, Saratoga Voices could not have found a more perfect avatar than Jesse Blumberg.
Tickets for Heroic Handel ($40/$35 senior 65+) can be purchased at the UPH box office – UniversalPreservationHall.org – or by calling the box office at 518-346-6204. To learn the story of Saratoga Voices, go to their website at SaratogaVoices.org. And most importantly, buy a ticket to Heroic Handel. Heroes are heroes whether they lived over a thousand years ago or today and we love to learn about what makes them so … heroic.