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Danbury Music Centre Celebrates The Season With Handel's 'Messiah'

Paul Speiser Photo Credit: Contributed
Regina Krawiec Photo Credit: Contributed
Drew Minter Photo Credit: Contributed
James Ruff Photo Credit: Contributed

DANBURY, Conn. -- The Danbury Concert Chorus and members of Danbury Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Christine R. Howlett, will perform Handel’s “Messiah” Friday at 7:30 p.m. at First Congregational Church.

The performance features soloists Regina Krawiec, soprano; Drew Minter, countertenor; James Ruff, tenor; and Paul M. Speiser, baritone.

Krawiec is a recent graduate from Vassar College where she majored in music, focusing in vocal performance. At Vassar, she was a member in all three of Vassar’s choral ensembles, and a two-time winner of the music department’s Concerto Competition. She has participated in the Bel Canto Institute, L’Art du Chant Francais and La Lingua della Lirica.

Minter grew up as a boy treble in the Washington Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys. He continued his education at Indiana University and the Musik Hochschule of Vienna. Minter appeared in leading roles with the opera companies of Brussels, Toulouse, Boston, Washington, Santa Fe, Wolf Trap, Glimmerglass and Nice, among others. A recognized specialist in the works of Handel, he performed frequently at the Handel festivals of Göttingen, Halle, Karlsruhe and Maryland.

Ruff has performed as soloist with such early music groups as the Handel and Haydn Society, Newberry Consort, King's Noyse, Aradia Ensemble, New York Collegium, Early Music New York and Music of the Baroque. He has toured the U.S. and abroad singing the title role in the medieval “Play of Daniel,” both with EMNY and GEMS.

Speiser has appeared as Pandolfe in Massenet’s “Cendrillon,” Don Alfonso in Mozart’s “Così fan tutte,” Schlendrian in J. S. Bach’s “Coffee Cantata,” Sam in Bernstein’s “Trouble in Tahiti” and a staged version of Hugo Wolf’s “Italienisches Liederbuch.” Other favorite performances include William in “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Philip Glass and Aeneas in Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas.”

Admission is free, though donations are gratefully accepted at the door. Danbury Music Centre, home of Danbury Concert Chorus and Danbury Symphony Orchestra, is celebrating its 80th anniversary season this year. Since 1956, Danbury Music Centre has been performing Handel’s “Messiah” for the greater Danbury community.

First Congregational Church is located at164 Deer Hill Ave., Danbury.

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