The Creation

by Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

Sunday, October 30, 2022 at 3:00pm
Grace Episcopal Church
300 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 

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CONTENTS

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Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

Franz Joseph Haydn was an Austrian composer of the Classical period. He was extremely prolific, composing over 100 symphonies, 68 string quartets, 24 operas, and hundreds of works for keyboard, instrumental duets and trios, sacred music, and vocal music. While he is credited with developing the symphony and the string quartet, his best known work today is The Creation, his greatest oratorio. 

Haydn spent most of his career as a court musician in the service of Prince Nicholas Esterházy and his descendants. Prince Nicholas was a great music lover and an amateur musician who played the baryton, an obscure stringed instrument. Haydn wrote over 120 pieces of music for this instrument, in addition to the music he composed for the court orchestra, chorus, opera, and marionette theatre. The prince entertained lavishly at both his winter and summer palaces and hosted at least two concerts each week. Haydn wrote music at a furious pace to keep up with the demand. Nicholas particularly enjoyed and supported Haydn's symphonies, and from 1761-1765, Haydn composed four symphonies each year. 


During this period, the court orchestra numbered only 13-15 players. When the prince's interest shifted to opera in the late 1760s, the orchestra was expanded to 22-24 players. The prince continued to attend two or three performances a week, either at his palaces or at the opera house and marionette theatre near the summer palace Esterhaza. 

As a court musician, Haydn was a valued servant, but a servant nonetheless. His duties were extensive and included a considerable amount of administrative work. He followed the Esterházy court from summer palace to winter palace, but otherwise he traveled very little. His music, however, was finding a audience far beyond the Esterházy palaces. In 1781 London publisher William Forster traveled to Vienna to request permission to publish Haydn's work in England--the first of several English publishers to do so.

 

This was also the year that Haydn met Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, with whom he developed a deep friendship. The two composers admired each other unreservedly and without a hint of professional jealously. Mozart, who composed with ease and astonishing speed, spent nearly two years writing the six string quartets he dedicated to Haydn. In the dedication, he stated "...from Haydn I learned how to compose a quartet." He once told Leopold Kozeluch, a Bohemian composer, "Even if they melted us together, there would not be enough to make a Haydn." The older composer regarded Mozart as the greatest composer of the age, an opinion he expressed freely and often. He recognized Mozart's stage work as so superior to his own that when he was offered a commission to write a new opera buffa for the Prague theatre, he urged the theatre to hire Mozart, instead. 

 

By 1785, Haydn's reputation had reached as far as Spain. Between 1786 and 1790, many of Haydn's works were composed for performances outside of Esterháza, with commissions from Spain, Naples, Prussia, and Paris. By 1793, his music was being performed in America. (President George Washington's personal music collection included some of Haydn's scores.) 

Haydn's life changed abruptly in 1790 with the death of his patron. Nicholas I. The new prince, Anton, was not interested in music. He promptly disbanded the orchestra and chorus. Haydn still received a pension, but the change of pace left him bored and restless. He had long been interested in visiting England. Opportunity arose in the form of Johann Peter Salomon, a concert promoter who introduced himself by saying, "My name is Salomon; I have come from London to fetch you." He commissioned Haydn to write a new opera, six new symphonies, and twenty other works, with an additional guarantee of a generous fee from a benefit concert. At the time, Haydn was 58 years old. He spoke no English, had never traveled by ship, and would be making his first long journey during the still-raging French Revolution. Undaunted, he set out for London.

He arrived on January 2 to discover that he was a celebrity. The newspapers carried stories about his arrival for several days running. He was introduced to London society and met the leading literary and musical figures. On the queen's birthday, he attended the Royal Court Ball, where he met the Prince of Wales (the future King George IV) and received the first of several invitations to a musical evening at Carlton House, the prince's residence. Haydn enjoyed a dazzling social life and his concerts were a sensation, attended by enthusiastic crowds and played by an orchestra of approximately 40 players--twice the size of his Esterházy forces. 

In May 1791, Haydn attended the Handel Festival in Westminster Abbey. Over a thousand singers and players performed Handel's work, including the oratorios Israel in Egypt and Messiah. From his place near the royal family, Haydn observed the enthusiasm of the king and court, including the custom of rising during the great choruses (not just "Hallelujah" from Messiah.) This experience had a profound effect on Haydn. "I have long been acquainted with music," he later wrote, "but I never understood its power until this." 

After 18 months of unfamiliar freedom and a frenzy of composition and concerts, Haydn left England for Vienna. He stopped in Bonn, where he met 21-year-old Ludvig Van Beethoven. He was so impressed with the young man's work that he offered to give him lessons in composition--an offer Beethoven later accepted. But Vienna seemed dull after the excitement of London, and Haydn received permission from Prince Anton Esterházy to return to England. He threw himself into performing, composing, and travel. It was probably during this time that he was shown a libretto for The Creation, with text drawn from Genesis and John Milton's Paradise Lost, written for Handel but never set to music.

Haydn returned to Vienna in 1795 and gave the libretto to Baron Gottfried van Swieten, the Court Librarian. Van Swieten wrote a German text, which he later translated into English. The baron's grasp of English was somewhat dubious, but most critics have decided that the idiosyncratic text is "charming." Van Swieten also made numerous suggestions about how the text should be set. Haydn incorporated many of these suggestions, but he was adamant that the words, "And there was light" should only be sung once. Haydn began work on The Creation in 1796 and spent two years in composition. During this time, he also wrote other, smaller works, including an Austrian national anthem. (While in England, he was struck by the custom of singing "God Save the King," and he felt that a national anthem might bolster Austrian morale.)

The Creation was first performed on April 29, 1798 in the Schwarzenberg Palace to a private audience. Haydn conducted an orchestra of about 120 players and a chorus of about 60. The performance struck the audience with its grandeur--an echo of what Haydn experienced at the Handel Festival several years earlier. The much-anticipated public performance took place in Vienna the following year, and a year later, in 1800, it had première performances in London and Paris. Haydn was invited to the Paris performance, but he was unable to travel due to failing health. The London premiere was a great success, but the Christmas Eve Paris performance was overshadowed by a dramatic assassination attempt on Napoleon. A cart loaded with gunpower and shrapnel was exploded on his route to the concert, killing over a dozen people, wounding at least 40, and destroying and damaging several buildings. Napolean's life was spared, or so the story has it, because his carriage driver was drunk and drove recklessly fast. Napolean continued to the concert and when his wife Josephine arrived later, he calmly told her, "The rascals wanted to blow me up. Bring me a book of the Oratorio." 

For the remainder of Haydn's life, The Creation was greeted with great excitement and large audiences. Haydn attended his final performance on March 27, 1808, when he was 76 years old. He was cheered by crowds outside and then carried in a chair to sit at the side of Prince Nicolas II. Every musician of note in Vienna attended this performance, including Hummel, Salieri, and Beethoven.  

Vienna, which had fallen to Napoleon in 1805, was again under siege in 1809. Haydn had become a house-bound invalid, but almost every day, he played the Austrian national anthem on his fortepiano in defiance of the occupying forces.

 

Haydn died peacefully on May 31, 1809. In accordance with his wishes, Mozart's Requiem was played at his memorial service. 

 
Libretto for The Creation

First Part

 
1. Introduction: The Representation of Chaos. Recitativo (Raphael, Chorus, Uriel)

   Raphael
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth; and the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.

   Chorus
And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said: Let there be Light, and there was Light.
   
   Uriel

And God saw the Light, that it was good; and God divided the Light from the darkness.
 
2. Aria (Uriel, Chorus)
   Uriel
Now vanish before the holy beams the gloomy dismal shades of dark; the first of days appears. Disorder yields to order the fair place. Affrighted fled hell’s spirits black in throngs; down they sink in the deep of abyss to endless night.   
   
   Chorus

Despairing cursing rage attends their rapid fall.  A new-created world springs up at God’s command. 
 
3. Recitativo (Raphael)
And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament. And it was so. Now furious storms tempestuous rage, as chaff by the winds are impelled the clouds. By heaven’s fire the sky is enflamed, and awful thunders are rolling on high. Now from the floods in steams ascend reviving showers of rain, the dreary wasteful hail, the light and flaky snow.
 
4. Chorus (Gabriel, Chorus)
   Gabriel
The marvelous work behold amazed the glorious hierarchy of Heaven; and to the ethereal vaults resounds the praise of God, and of the second day. 
   Chorus
And to the ethereal vaults resound the praise of God, and of the second day. 
 
5. Recitativo (Raphael)
And God said: Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear; and it was so. And God called the dry land: earth, and the gathering of waters called He seas; and God saw that it was good.
 
6. Aria (Raphael)
Rolling in foaming billows uplifted roars the boisterous sea. Mountains and rocks now emerge; their tops into the clouds ascend. Through the open plain, outstretching, wide serpentine rivers flow. Softly purling glides on through silent vales the limpid brook.
 
7. Recitativo (Gabriel)
And God said: Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself upon the earth; and it was so.
 
8. Aria (Gabriel)
With verdure clad the fields appear delightful to the ravished sense; by flowers sweet and gay enhanced is the charming sight. Here vent their fumes the fragrant herbs; here shoots the healing plant. By loads of fruit the expanded boughs are pressed; to shady vaults are bent the tufty groves; the mountain’s brow is crowned with closed wood. 
 
9. Recitativo (Uriel)
And the heavenly host proclaimed the third day, praising God and saying:
 
10. Chorus
Awake the harp, the lyre awake! In shout and joy your voices raise! Rejoice in the Lord, the mighty God! For He the heavens and earth has clothed in stately dress.
 
11. Recitativo (Uriel)
And God said: Let there be lights in the firmament of heaven to divide the day from the night, and to give light upon the earth; and let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days, and for years. He made the stars also.
 
12. Recitativo (Uriel)
In splendor bright is rising now the sun and darts his rays; an amorous joyful happy spouse, a giant proud and glad, to run his measured course. With softer beams and milder light steps on the silver moon through silent night. The space immense of the azure sky innumerous host of giant orbs adorns. And the sons of God announced the fourth day in song divine, proclaiming thus His power:
 
13. Chorus (Chorus, Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael)
   Chorus
The heavens are telling the glory of God. The wonder of His works displays the firmament.

   Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael
To day, that is coming, speaks it the day; the night that is gone, to following night.    
   
   Chorus

The heavens are telling the glory of God. The wonder of His works displays the firmament.

   Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael
In all the land resounds the Word, never unperceived, ever understood. 

   Chorus
The heavens are telling the glory of God. The wonder of His works displays the firmament.

 
Second Part
 
14. Recitativo (Gabriel)
And God said: Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl, that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
 
15. Aria (Gabriel)
On mighty pens uplifted soars the eagle aloft, and cleaves the air in swiftest flight to the blazing sun. His welcome bids to morn the merry lark, and cooing, calls the tender dove his mate. From every bush and grove resound the nightingale’s delightful notes. No grief affected yet her breast, nor to a mournful tale were tuned her soft, enchanting lays. 
 
16. Recitativo (Raphael)
And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth. And God blessed them, saying: Be fruitful all, and multiply! Ye winged tribes, be multiplied and sing on every tree! Multiply, ye finny tribes, and fill each watery deep! Be fruitful, grow, and multiply! And in your God and Lord rejoice! And the angels struck their immortal harps and the wonders of the fifth day sung.
 
17. Terzetto (Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael)
   Gabriel
Most beautiful appear, with verdure young adorned, the gently sloping hills. Their narrow sinuous veins distill in crystal drops the fountain fresh and bright. 

   Uriel
In lofty circles play and hover through the sky the cheerful host of birds. And in the flying whirl, the glittering plumes are dyed, as rainbows, by the sun. 

   Raphael
See flashing through the wet in thronged swarms the fry on thousand ways around. Upheaved from the deep, the immense Leviathan sports on the foaming wave. 

   Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael
How many are Thy works, O God? Who may their numbers tell? Who, O God?
 
18. Chorus (Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael, Chorus)
The Lord is great and great His might. His glory lasts forever and evermore.
 
 
INTERMISSION
 
19. Recitative (Raphael)
And God said: Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind; cattle and creeping thing, and beasts of the earth after their kind.
   
 20. Recitative (Raphael)
 
Straight opening her fertile womb, the earth obeyed the Word, and teemed creatures numberless, in perfect forms and fully grown. Cheerful, roaring, stands the tawny lion. In sudden leaps the flexible tiger appears. The nimble stag bears up his branching head. With flying mane and fiery look, impatient neighs the sprightly steed. The cattle in herds already seeks his food on fields and meadows green. And o’er the ground, as plants, are spread the fleecy, meek and bleating flock. Unnumbered as the sands in whirls arose the host of insects. In long dimension creeps with sinuous trace the worm.
 
 21. Aria (Raphael)
Now heaven in fullest glory shone; earth smiles in all her rich attire. The room of air with fowl is filled; the water swelled by shoals of fish; by heavy beasts the ground is trod. But all the work was not complete. There wanted yet that wondrous being, that grateful should God’s power admire, with heart and voice His goodness praise. 
 
22. Recitative (Uriel)
And God created man in His own image. In the image of God created He him. Male and female created He them. He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.
   
23. Aria (Uriel)
In native worth and honor clad, with beauty, courage, strength adorned, to heaven, erect and tall, he stands a man, the Lord and King of nature all.  The large and arched front sublime of wisdom deep declares the seat. And in his eyes with brightness shines the soul, the breath and image of his God. With fondness leans upon his breast a partner for him formed, a woman fair and graceful spouse. Her softly smiling virgin looks, of flowery spring the mirror, bespeak him love, and joy, and bliss. 
   
24. Recitative (Raphaiel)
And God saw everything that He had made; and behold, it was very good; and the heavenly choir in song divine thus closed the sixth day.
   
25. Chorus
Achieved is the glorious work; the Lord beholds it and is pleased. In lofty strains let us rejoice! Our song let be the praise of God. 
 
26. Terzetto (Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael)
   Gabriel, Uriel
On Thee each living soul awaits; from Thee, O Lord, they seek their food. Thou openest Thy hand, and sated all they are. 
   
   Raphael

But as to them Thy face is hid, with sudden terror they are struck. Thou tak’st their breath away; they vanish into dust. 

   Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael
Thou lett’st Thy breath go forth again, and life with vigor fresh returns. Revived earth unfolds new force and new delights. 
   
27. Chorus
Achieved is the glorious work. Our song let be the praise of God. Glory to His name forever; He sole on high exalted reigns, alleluia.
 
 
Third Part
 
28. Recitativo (Uriel)
In rosy mantle appears, by tunes sweet awaked, the morning young and fair. From the celestial vaults pure harmony descends on ravished earth. Behold the blissful pair, where hand in hand they go! Their flaming looks express what feels the grateful heart. A louder praise of God their lips shall utter soon. Then let our voices ring, united with their song!
 
29. Chorus (Adam, Eve, Chorus)
   Eve and Adam
By Thee with bliss, O bounteous Lord, the heaven and earth are stored. This world, so great, so wonderful, Thy mighty hand has framed. 
   
   Chorus

Forever blessed be His power!  His name be ever magnified!
   
   Adam

Of stars the fairest, O how sweet thy smile at dawning morn! How brightenest thou, o Sun, the day, thou eye and soul of all!
   
   Chorus

Proclaim in your extended course the almighty power and praise of God!

   Eve
And thou, that rul’st the silent night, and all ye starry host, spread wide and everywhere His praise in choral songs about. 
   
   Adam

Ye strong and cumb’rous elements, who ceaseless changes make, ye dusky mists and dewy streams that rise and fall through the air…
   
   Eve, Adam, and Chorus

...resound the praise of God our Lord! Great is His name, and great His might.

   Eve
Ye purling fountains, tune His praise, and wave your tops, ye pines! Ye plants, exhale, ye flowers breathe at Him your balmy scent.

   Adam
Ye, that on mountains stately tread, and ye, that lowly creep; ye birds that sing at heaven’s gate, and ye, that swim the stream; 
   
   Eve, Adam, and Chorus

Ye living souls, extol the Lord! Him celebrate, Him magnify!

   Eve and Adam
Ye valleys, hills, and shady woods, our raptured note ye heard; from morn till eve’n you shall repeat our grateful hymns of praise!
   
   Chorus

Hail, bounteous Lord! Almighty, hail! Thy word called forth this wonderous frame. Thy power adore the heaven and earth; we praise Thee now and evermore.
 
30. Recitativo (Adam, Eve)
   Adam
Our duty we performed now, in offering up to God our thanks. Now follow me, dear partner of my life! Thy guide I’ll be, and every step pours new delight into our breast, shews wonders everywhere. Then may’st thou feel and know the high degree of bliss the Lord allotted us, and with devoted heart His bounty celebrate. Come, follow me! Thy guide I’ll be.
.

   Eve
O thou for whom I am! My help, my shield, my all! Thy will is law to me. So God, our Lord, ordains, and from obedience grows my pride and happiness.
 
31. Duetto (Adam, Eve)
   Adam
Graceful consort! At thy side softly fly the golden hours. Every moment brings new rapture, every care is put to rest.
 

   Eve
Spouse adored! At thy side purest joys o’erflow the heart. Life and all I am is thine; my reward thy love shall be.

   Adam
The dew-dropping morn, O how she quickens all!

  Eve
The coolness of eve’n, O how she all restores!

  Adam
How grateful is of fruits the savor sweet!

  Eve
How pleasing is of fragrant bloom the smell!

 Eve and Adam
But, without thee, what is to me

 Adam
The morning dew,

 Eve
The breath of eve'n,

 Adam
The savory fruit,

Eve
The fragrant bloom.

Eve and Adam
With thee is every joy enhanced, with thee delight is ever new; with thee is life incessant bliss; thine it whole shall be. 
 
32. Recitativo (Uriel)
O happy pair, and always happy yet, if not, misled by false conceit, ye strive at more, as granted is, and more to know, as know ye should!

33. Chorus (Chorus, Soli SATB)
Sing the Lord, ye voices all!  Utter thanks ye all His works! Celebrate His power and glory! Let His name resound on high! The Lord is great, His praise shall last for e’er. Amen! Amen!

 
German text and English translation by Gottfried van Swieten

 

Providence Singers Staff

Christine Noel
Artistic Director

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CHRISTINE NOEL celebrates her 10th season as Artistic Director of the Providence Singers, working in close collaboration with the late conductors Bramwell Tovey and Larry Rachleff in performances with the Rhode Island Philharmonic. She has conducted the Singers in annual performances of Messiah with the Philharmonic and has led the organization in world premieres, commissions, and the Singers' fourth commercial recording: Dan Forrest’s Requiem for the Living

 

She has served on the music faculty and as Director of Choral Activities at Clark University, Worcester, MA, and as musical director at Trinity Repertory Company. Dr. Noel is the Founding Artistic Director of the Rhode Island Children’s Chorus (RICC), an award-winning choral organization for youth ages 7-18. RICC recently celebrated its 20th anniversary and has been featured at conventions of the American Choral Directors Association and the National Association for Music Education. RICC has also performed at Carnegie Hall and other notable venues throughout the eastern United States. 

 

In demand as a guest conductor, clinician, and master teacher, Dr. Noel has conducted choral/orchestral works in the United States and abroad. She holds a Master of Music and a Doctor of Musical Arts in conducting from Boston University, where she studied with Ann Howard Jones and David Hoose. She also holds an undergraduate degree in Music Education from Rhode Island College, where she was the recipient of a Ridgway Shinn Fellowship for a year of study at the Kodály Institute of Music in Kecskemét, Hungary. Passionate about language study, she resided in Florence, Italy for two years, where she completed the superior level of Italian studies at the University of Florence and served as Associate Conductor for two Italian choral ensembles.

 

Being the mother of her seven-year-old daughter is her greatest accomplishment and truest joy.

    

 

John Black
Pianist and Assistant Conductor

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John Black is an accomplished organist, pianist, and conductor, with recent solo recitals taking him from Holy Cross Cathedral in Boston to the First Presbyterian Church of Pompano Beach, Florida. He is the Director of Music at Greenwood Church, where he founded and conducts the fifty-voice Greenwood Concert Choir, frequently with professional orchestra. An organ student of Peter Sykes at Boston University, John is working toward the Master of Sacred Music degree, and presently holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music and music education (respectively) from Rhode Island College. As the Singers' assistant conductor, his responsibilities include leading rehearsals and sectionals, presenting workshops, and creating choral arrangements for publication and performance. John is also principal pianist and organist for the Singers and for the RI Children's Chorus, performing on the notable organs of the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul in Providence and Mechanics Hall in Worcester. John was awarded a full scholarship to perform in the Young Professional Artists Program of the prestigious Newport Music Festival, and has served for ten years as resident pianist and choral conductor at the Newport Mansions during the Christmas season. For more information, please visit johnblackorganist.com.

Elaine Cunningham
Executive Director

A member of the Providence Singers alto section since 2010, Elaine Cunningham held a variety of volunteer roles--including hospitality, chorus communications, auditions coordination, chorus manager, and member of the Board of Trustees--before joining the staff in 2019 as executive director. She is a former music teacher and choral conductor with a varied background that includes office administration, event planning, and publishing. 

Soloists

Maggie Finnegan
Soprano

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Hailed by Opera News for her “clear, poised and defiant soprano” and The Washington Post for her “silvery, pitch-perfect voice,” Maggie Finnegan (she/her) is a versatile soprano, singing repertoire ranging from medieval to contemporary works. Recent performances include Maggie’s Boston Lyric Opera principal artist debut as Danica in Ana Sokolović’s Svadba, her European operatic debut in L'Enfant et les Sortileges with the Belgian National Orchestra, her Netherlands debut in Louis Andriessien's Odysseus' Women / Anais Nin, the White Snake Projects’ world premiere of Dan Visconti’s PermaDeath: A Video Game Opera, and a duo recital with Mezzo-Soprano Stephanie Blythe with Sparks and Wiry Cries.

Specializing in new music, she has sung premieres with White Snake Projects, Experiments in Opera, Opera Parallèle, Catalyst New Music, the {Re}Happening Festival, the Juventas New Music Ensemble, The American Chamber Opera Company, Black Sheep Contemporary Ensemble, Vital Opera, Sparks & Wiry Cries SongSLAM and the Center for Contemporary Opera. Career highlights include The Sound of Music with Paper Mill Playhouse, The Metropolitan Opera Guild's School Touring Program, Lee Mingwei’s performance art piece Sonic Blossom, and performing as a soloist in the revival of the play Extraordinary Measures, in which she worked with Tony award-winning playwright and activist Eve Ensler.

An avid concert performer and recitalist, Maggie made her international concert debut at the PyeongChang Winter Music Festival in South Korea. Recent concert appearances include performances with Beth Morrison Projects, the Avanti Orchestra, the Capital Fringe Festival Chamber Series, The New Dominion Chorale, the City Choir of Washington, Boston Lyric Opera Signature Series, the Handel and Haydn Society and the Halcyon Stage in Washington, DC. She is a core member of the critically acclaimed chamber ensemble The Broken Consort. The Broken Consort presented the world premiere of Movement 12 from Maggie's new work Reassemble With Care, a composed and devised song cycle for amplified soprano and chamber ensemble.

Maggie earned her Bachelor of Music degree from Manhattan School of Music, and her Master of Music degree from Peabody Conservatory. She honed her opera improvisation skills at the Opera Works Advanced Artist Program in Los Angeles. She currently splits her time between New York City and Boston, where she shares a home with her partner, three step-kids and three pet snakes. 

 

Brad Kleyla

Tenor

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Brad Kleyla is a Rhode Island-based singer, multi-instrumentalist, audio engineer, and teacher. He is a graduate of DePaul University in Chicago, where he studied trombone and sound recording and engineering. As a tenor, Brad is in demand throughout southern New England as both a soloist and a choral singer, performing with some of New England's premier choral ensembles. Performances include Handel's Israel in Egypt, Handel's Messiah, the Saint-Saëns Christmas Oratorio, Rachmaninoff's All Night Vespers, and Benjamin Britten's Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings. He has performed in the cathedrals of Worcester, Gloucester, Hereford, and Tewksbury in England. In addition to his career as a classical musician and private lesson instructor, he plays lead guitar and sings with The Kleyla Family Band, which he founded in 2016.

Travis Benoit

Tenor

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Travis Benoit holds a Master in Vocal Performance from The Manhattan School of Music, where he sang the role of Prunier in Puccini’s La Rondine. and Il Dottore Sinisgalli in Nino Rota’s I Due Timidi. In the summer of 2019, he was invited to Italy to sing with Glenn Morton’s program La Lingua Della Lirica (Classic Lyric Arts), and was also a vocal apprentice in Nahant, Massachusetts singing the role of Tamino in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte.

 

In addition to his work as a soloist, Travis is in demand as a choral singer. He currently performs with The Connecticut Choral Artists (CONCORA), the Providence Singers as a choral scholar, and the Boston based studio choir VOX Futura. Travis is also a jazz pianist and enthusiast. 

Nicolas Laroche

Baritone

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Rhode Island baritone Nicholas R. Laroche is a frequently engaged voice upon the New England area concert stage and at the conductor’s pulpit. Nicholas has been a featured soloist in many oratorio and opera engagements, highlights including the Bach B Minor Mass and St John Passion, Mozart’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Haydn’s The Creation, and Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte. Nicholas is a frequent guest with many area ensembles, including Ensemble Altera, The Ecclesia Consort, RICCO, and the Providence Singers. He is a founding member of Collegium Ancora, “ensemble in residence” at Grace Church Providence. Nicolas has produced and performed numerous, well-received solo concerts throughout the New England area and abroad, including in Toronto, Montreal, Quebec, Vienna and Salzburg. Nicholas was recently engaged in the 2019 SXSW Festival “Bleed for the Throne” immersive experience, sponsored by HBO’s Game of Thrones and The Red Cross.

 

Nicholas holds degrees from McGill University and The University of New Hampshire. He is the current Music Director for the Chorus of Kent County and, in recent years, has been the Director of Music Ministry at Blessed Sacrament Church and the Pawtuxet Valley Community Chorus in West Warwick, as well as an adjunct voice faculty member at Rhode Island College, where he was also the conductor and director of the Rhode Island College Men’s Chorus. 

 

Outside of music, Nicholas is the Global Head of Human Resources for a local consultancy firm.

 

Orchestra

Note:  Due to the rescheduled concert and Covid-related replacements, the performance roster below differs from the listings in printed bulletin. 

Violin I:  

Alexey Shabalin, Meghan O'Connor, Mina Choi, Ethan Wood

Violin II:  

Lois Finkel, Laura Gulley, John Castore, Lisa Gray

Viola:  

Abby Cross, Consuelo Sherba

Cello:  

Daniel Harp, Jacob MacKa

Bass:  

Barry Boetther

Flute:  

Mary Ellen Kregler, Kathy Boyd

Oboe:

Cheryl Bishkoff

Clarinet: 

Ian Greitzer

Bassoon:  

Tyler Wilkins

Horn:  

Brian Nichols, Marina Krickler

Trumpet:  

Mary Lynne Bohn

Timpani:  

Joe DeMarco

Fortepiano:  

John Black

 
 

Providence Singers Concert Roster

Soprano

Jane Abolafia

Emily Atkinson

Lisa Babbitt

Olivia Black

Jacqueline Boutcher

Mallory Coffey

Brianne Derosa*

Lori Nassif Istok

Christina Kochan

Marykate McCutcheon

Erin McDermott

Meredith Mikaelian

Catherine Monfette

Beth Nichols

Janice Peters

Mary-Ellen Roca

Brooklyn Saliba

Jessica Sharp

Maija Spence

Abbey Spolidoro

Julia Teeter

Corey Thibodeau

Danielle Tocco

Shaylyn White

Laura Wilkins

Maria Wood

Elizabeth Zarlengo

Alto

Emily Atkinson*

Sally Bozzuto

Janet Breidenbach

Eileen Bristow Molloy

Dana Bruscini

Kyleen Carpenter

Tess Cersonsky

Stephanie Cournoyer

Emma Donahue

Sue Farrier

Kathleen Gannon

Eva Gonzalez

Eve Grady

Kalen Grimes

Alina Grimshaw

Elizabeth Holmes

Kelly Sullivan LaValle

Alexa MacMullen

Angela Mitsuma

Mary Ann Moeller

Angela Morin

Emma Pacheco

Hannah Schuerman

Stephanie Tasch

Christine Wallis

Joyce Wolfe

Tenor

Travis Benoit**

Marc Boyd

Neil Brafman

David Broccoli

James Burress

Ted Doran*

Brad Kleyla**

Kirk Murrell

Wayne Nettnay

Emmanuel Sodbinow

Jordan Sousa

Mark Steketee

Thaddeus Wright

Bass

Stuart Britton

John Brooks

Andrew Broten

Chris Croteau

Alex Dowgiallo

Phillip Garrity

Myles Glatter

Dan Hendriksen

Philip Jurgeleit

Terry Karaniuk

Josh Krugman

Bradford N. Louison

Alan MacAdams

Ross McLendon

Nathaniel Nichols

Ron Runner*

Jim Salomon

Richard Spicer

Terry Ward

 *Section Leaders

**Choral Scholars