November 22, 2021 (updated November 29, 2021)

A Madison Symphony Christmas and Free Carol Sing Return in December

The MSO performs “A Madison Symphony Christmas” concerts Dec. 3-5, 2021

Madison, Wis. “A Madison Symphony Christmas” marks the annual kickoff to the holiday season in the greater Madison community and embraces the season with Christmas classics and music featuring the full orchestra conducted by Madison Symphony Orchestra (MSO) Music Director John DeMain, the Madison Symphony Chorus, directed by Beverly Taylor, Madison Youth Choirs, artistic direction by Michael Ross, and the Mount Zion Gospel Choir directed by Leotha and Tamera Stanley, as well as featured opera singers Elizabeth Caballero, soprano, and Jared Esguerra, tenor, and Stephanie Jutt, flute, on stage for this family-friendly holiday tradition.

The program begins with classical styles with music from Johann Sebastian Bach, Jonathan Dove, Dan Goeller, John Rutter, and more in the first half – finishing with Handel’s epic “Hallejuah” chorus from Messiah. The Madison Symphony Chorus and soloists present a medley of familiar holiday features including Deck the Hall, and It’s the Most Wonderful time of the Year. Finally, the Mount Zion Gospel Choir sings arrangements for choir and orchestra by co-director Leotha Stanley, including Christmas Hope.

“After two years, our biggest celebration of the holiday season returns in Madison. Three choruses and choirs, amazing soloists from our orchestra, Broadway and opera, as well as the entire Madison Symphony Orchestra come together to play your favorite Christmas and holiday music,” said Maestro John DeMain. “Joining the fabulous Madison Symphony Chorus is the Mount Zion Gospel Choir — a huge hit with our audiences. The stunning teenage component of Madison Youth Choirs, who have dazzled us year after year, will be back singing alone and with the Madison Symphony Chorus throughout the concert. Our soloists this year feature two debuts with the orchestra. Elizabeth Caballero, soprano, is a favorite with Madison Opera audiences. Her glorious voice has taken her on a truly international journey singing in the world’s great opera houses. Newcomer, tenor Jared Esguerra, is a recent discovery of mine. This young tenor has a huge dramatic voice and I can’t wait for you to thrill in his beautiful vocal instrument. The first half of the concert is more classical in nature, with works by Bach, Rutter, Handel and a few surprises. Our soloist from the orchestra will be our principal flautist Stephanie Jutt. The second half of Christmas will be filled with songs of the season, plus Mt. Zion’s unique gospel style renditions of Christmas carols featuring their own array of great soloists. And, of course, our annual Christmas Carol sing-along with everyone on stage and all of you in the audience. This joyous and beloved concert is simply the best way to usher in the holiday season.”

“A Madison Symphony Christmas” performances will take place on Friday, December 3 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, December 4 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, December 5 at 2:30 p.m. in Overture Hall, 201 State Street. Audiences are invited to arrive 50 minutes before each performance to sing carols in the Overture Hall Lobby with the Madison Symphony Chorus under the direction of Beverly Taylor.

On Saturday, December 4 at 11:00 a.m., The Madison Symphony Orchestra’s Principal Organist and Curator of the MSO’s Overture Concert Organ, Greg Zelek, leads a Free Community Carol Sing in Overture Hall. All ages are welcome, and no tickets or reservations are needed. Learn more: https://madisonsymphony.org/carolsing

Concert, Ticket and Event Details
The lobby opens 90 minutes prior to each concert. The Symphony recommends concert attendees arrive early for each performance to make sure they have time to pass through Overture Center’s security stations.

Single tickets for all Symphony and Organ concerts are on sale now through the Overture Center Box office. Tickets can be purchased online at overture.org, in-person or by phone by calling (608) 258-4141 during Box Office hours (visit overture.org for current schedule).

Three performances of A Madison Symphony Christmas will take place and ticket prices range from $20 to $98. More information about the December 3-5 concerts can be viewed at https://madisonsymphony.org/christmas

Health & Safety precautions
The Symphony has received overwhelming positive response to the comprehensive safety measures that Overture Center for the Arts, and Overture Resident Companies have put in place, that include proof of vaccination or negative test and wearing masks. Drinks will be available for purchase before the concerts, and during intermission (no intermission for the organ concert). More information about the many safety protocols can be found at https://www.overture.org/health, and madisonsymphony.org/faq.

Money Back Guarantee
The MSO will continue to offer a refund for tickets to any concert that cannot be performed for any reason. The MSO will adhere to all public health guidelines and cooperate with Overture Center for the Arts to assure the safety of its audiences, musicians and staff. Programs, dates, and artists subject to change.

About Elizabeth Caballero
Soprano Elizabeth Caballero is a frequent guest of numerous American and international opera houses, festivals and concert venues. Her repertoire encompasses staples of the dramatic coloratura and full lyric repertoire, including Mimì, La Bohème (Metropolitan Opera; New York City Opera; Florida Grand Opera; Hawaii Opera Theater); the title role in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Musetta, (La Bohème; Violetta, La Traviata (Opera Naples; Opera Carolina; Madison Opera; Pacific Symphony; Orlando Philharmonic; Compañía Lírica Nacional de Costa Rica); both Donna Anna (Madison Opera) and Donna Elvira, Don Giovanni (New York City Opera; Seattle Opera; Lyric Opera Kansas City); as well as Nedda, I Pagliacci (New York City Opera; Hawaii Opera), among others. In concert, she has sung the soprano solos in John Rutter’s Requiem; Orff’s Carmina Burana; Verdi’s Requiem; Rachmaninov’s The Bells and Poulenc’s Gloria. Originally from Cuba, Elizabeth Caballero is a citizen of the USA. She speaks fluent English, Spanish and Italian.

About Jared Esguerra
Filipino-American tenor, Jared V. Esguerra, is a dedicated performer of vocal works ranging from opera to concert repertoire and musical theater. The Chicago native has been praised for his “pleasing tenor” voice and continues to be in high demand. In addition to his role debut as Fenton in Verdi’s Falstaff at the Crested Butte Music Festival in 2018, he has portrayed Miles in The Turn of the Screw with Chicago Fringe Opera and Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte with the Floating Opera Company. He has also sung Pirelli in Sweeney Todd with the Janiec Opera Company at Brevard Music Center, the Messenger in Il Trovatore at Sarasota Opera, and the Englishman in Angélique, Luiz in The Gondoliers, and Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus all at DePaul University, of which he’s an alumnus. On the concert stage, Jared recently appeared as the tenor soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Now Let’s Sing and with Chicago Sinfonietta in its MLK Tribute concert series. After a sold-out run of West Side Story as A-Rab at the Edinburgh International Festival, Jared returned to appear with Chicago Opera Theater in the critically acclaimed world premiere of Freedom Ride in 2020. He will also be covering the role of Giovanni in COT’s live-streamed production of La hija de Rappaccini in April 2021.

About the Madison Symphony Orchestra
The Madison Symphony Orchestra celebrates its 96th season in 2021–2022. The MSO has grown to be one of America’s leading regional orchestras, providing Madison and south-central Wisconsin with cultural and educational opportunities to interact with great masterworks and top-tier guest artists from around the world. Learn more at madisonsymphony.org

Major funding for the December symphony concert provided by: American Printing, Fiore Companies, BMO Harris Bank, Richard and Pamela Reese in memory of Maurice and Arlene Reese, Judith and Nick Topitzes, and an anonymous friend.

Additional Funding is provided by: J.H. Findorff & Son, Inc., Flad Architects, Hooper Foundation, Reinhart Boener Van Deuren s.c., and the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Contact: Peter Rodgers, Director of Marketing
Phone: (608) 260-8680 x226
Mobile: (415) 713-0235
Email: prodgers@madisonsymphony.org
Web: madisonsymphony.org
Link to “A Madison Symphony Christmas” December concert photos: https://bit.ly/mso2021decphotos