Venue: Overture Hall
Friday, Dec. 1, 2023
Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023
Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023
$15 – $102
Only through the Overture Center Box Office, 201 State Street
Our traditional and beloved Christmas concert returns in all of its aural and visual splendor, with our own Madison Symphony Chorus, The Madison Youth Choirs, and the Mt. Zion Gospel Choir. Joining us will be soprano Evelyn Saavedra, who recently starred in our Voices of Spring organ gala, bringing to us a voice of great beauty and a charming personality as well. Those of you who attended Madison Opera’s 2022 Opera in the Park will remember Limmie Pulliam’s show stopping performance of Puccini’s Nessun dorma. This remarkable tenor will join us as well, for a perfect way to start the holiday season. – John DeMain, Music Director
Traditional French: Angels We Have Heard on High (arr. Mack Wilberg)
Johann Sebastian Bach: Mass in B minor, BWV 243
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Mass in C minor, K.427
Antonio Vivaldi: Concerto in C minor for Piccolo and Orchestra, RV443
John Rutter: Star Carol
César Franck: Panis Angelicus
Adolphe Adam: O Holy Night (arr. Dan Goeller)
Francis Poulenc: Gloria
George Friderick Handel: Hallelujah chorus from Messiah
John Williams: Three Holiday Songs from “Home Alone”
Darby/Simeone: ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (arr. William Schoenfeld)
Peter Jaffe: Symph-Hannukah
Amaury Veray Torregrosa: Villancico Yaucano (arr. Scott Gendel)
Tormé/Wells: The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)
Berlin/Thompson: Happy Holiday / It’s the Holiday Season
Leotha Stanley: Special Christmas Love
Leotha Stanley: Christmas Peace
John Wesley Work, Jr.: Go Tell it on the Mountain (arr. Leotha Stanley)
John DeMain, Music Director
Evelyn Saavedra, Soprano
Limmie Pulliam, Tenor
Madison Symphony Chorus, Beverly Taylor, Director
Mount Zion Gospel Choir, Tamera and Leotha Stanley, Directors
Madison Youth Choirs, Michael Ross, Artistic Director
Take Note: Drinks Allowed in Overture Hall
As of this season, drinks are allowed inside Overture Hall during all Madison Symphony Orchestra concerts. Refreshments may be purchased at bars and concession stands located around the Overture Hall lobby before each concert and during intermission. Please enjoy food in the lobby and unwrap any candy or cough drops before the performance begins. Thank you!
Caroling in the Lobby
Join the Madison Symphony Chorus for free caroling in the Overture Hall Lobby 55 minutes before the concert!
Friday: 6:35–7:05 p.m.
Saturday: 7:05–7:35 p.m.
Sunday: 1:35–2:05 p.m.
Judith and Nick Topitzes
In the 21- 22 season, she was the Third Prize winner of the Gerda Lissner Foundation International Operetta and Zarzuela Competition, and subsequently made her Carnegie Hall debut singing in the winner’s concert. Recent operatic credits include her role and house debut as Musetta in La Bohème with Vero Beach Opera and her return to Pensacola Opera as Rosalba in Florencia en el Amazonas. A champion of contemporary music, Ms. Saavedra has had the opportunity to collaborate with composers and contemporary music ensembles on several projects. This fall, led by music director Jeffrey Milarsky, she made her Lincoln Center-Alice Tully Hall debut singing George Crumb’s Ancient Voices of Children with the leading ensemble in New York City’s contemporary music scene: AXIOM.
She has created such roles as Mother in Michael Ching’s world premiere of Birthday Clown with Savannah Voice Festival. Additionally, as a member of the Janiec Opera Company at the Brevard Music Center, she created both the role of Featured Dater in the world premiere of Michael Ching’s Speed Dating Tonight, and the female title role of Epiphany Proudfoot in the world premiere of J. Mark Scearce Falling Angel. For her role as Epiphany, the Wall Street Journal wrote of her “alluring soprano who brought sensitivity to Epiphany.” Moreover, in the 16-17 season, she was seen at Pensacola Opera in the role of Sister Catherine in the Florida premiere of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, where she also covered the role of Kitty Hart, and as Young Alyce in Tom Cipullo’s Glory Denied.
On December 17th, 2022, Pulliam made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Radamès in Aida, which also served as his role debut. He later performs Radamès with Tulsa Opera for their 75th anniversary gala concert. Elsewhere during the season, he returns to the Cleveland Orchestra for his first performances as Dick Johnson in Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West, conducted by Franz Welser-Möst. In concert, he debuts with the San Diego Symphony singing Verdi’s Requiem and makes his Carnegie Hall debut performing “The Ordering of Moses” in collaboration with his alma mater, The Oberlin Conservatory. He also joins pianist Mark Markham for a series of recitals entitled “Make Them Hear You: A Spiritual Journey” and will also be featured on “operatic greatest hits” concerts with the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra and Delta Symphony.
The 2021/22 season was highlighted by his highly-anticipated L..A. Opera debut as Manrico in Verdi’s Il Trovatore, where he was lauded by the Los Angeles Times for his “healthy, focused, ringing tenor.” He followed that with a successful role debut as Turiddu in Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana with Vashon Opera. Additional performances include his company debut with Livermore Valley Opera in the title role of Verdi’s Otello, his company debut in Fort Worth Opera’s A Night of Black Excellence Concert, and his rescheduled appearance with The Memphis Symphony Orchestra as the tenor soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. He took the stage again as Verdi’s Otello in his highly-anticipated debut with The Cleveland Orchestra.
The Missouri native trained with the late renowned, pedagogue Richard Miller. He is also a former participant in the young artist programs of Cleveland Opera, Opera Delaware and Opera Memphis. He was the 2012 Artist Division Winner of the National Opera Association’s Vocal Competition and, in 2013, was a winner in the 3rd Annual Concorso Internazionale di Canto della Fondazione Marcello Giordano in Catania, Sicily.