Annual Performance of Handel’s Messiah Brings Bronx Community Together Again
On Sunday, December 9, the people of the Bronx gathered once again on the campus of BCC to enjoy what has become one of the borough’s major Christmas traditions — the annual performance of the musical masterwork, Handel’s Messiah. Performed at Hall of Fame Playhouse in the Roscoe Brown Student center, the oratorio featured a return of last year’s celestial quartet of soloists — soprano Michelle Trovato, alto Caroline Tye, tenor David Guzman and bass Markel Reed. They were backed by The Bronx Opera Chorus and The Orchestra of the Bronx, all under the baton of Maestro Michael Spierman, the artistic director of The Bronx Opera.
Community leaders and noted Bronxites were on hand to read the biblical passages that inspired George Frederic Handel’s music. They included Congressman José E. Serrano and his son New York State Senator José M. Serrano, jazz musician Ms. Valerie Capers, honors high school student Adriana Prela and Dr. Ruth Westheimer, the famed “psychosexual therapist” and author, who read the passage “For Unto Us a Child is Born.” Other distinguished readers: Jeffrey Dinowitz, New York State Assembly Member; Andrew Cohen, New York City Council Member; Elizabeth A. Taylor, Acting Supreme Court Justice, Bronx County: G. Oliver Koppell, Former N.Y. State Attorney General; Dr. David Gómez, President, Hostos Community College; and BCC President Thomas A. Isekenegbe.
Conductor Spierman was pleased with the results. “I think that the speakers lend a lot to the afternoon,” he observed. “They encompass such a wide range of the life of our borough — and this isn’t just a performance of a great work of art. It celebrates the borough and it celebrates the holiday and it celebrates the College and the relationship of the opera company and the orchestra with BCC.”
The magically musical afternoon was made possible by the BCC Foundation and Bronx Pro Group. Those who were unfortunate enough to miss the concert will have the opportunity to hear it when it returns next year.