A distinguished roster of national soloists and the first woman conductor ever will highlight the Oratorio Society of Utah's 73rd annual "Messiah," to be performed on Dec. 10 and 11 at 8 p.m. in the Tabernacle on Temple Square.
On the podium to conduct the 250 singers (prepared by Morris Lee) and members of the Utah Symphony will be Victoria Bond, music director of the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra in Virginia. Bond's many firsts include the firstwoman to graduate with a doctorate in conducting from the Juilliard School, and first woman appointed EXXON/Arts Endowment conductor with a major orchestra - the Pittsburgh Symphony, where she worked with Andre Previn.
Her many posts have included music director of the Bel Canto Opera in New York City, the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony and Empire State Youth Orchestra, as well as guest conductor of leading orchestras in the U.S. and Europe. Among her widely performed compositions have been commissions for the American Ballet Theatre, Pennsylvania Ballet and Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival.
Soprano Diana Walker, no stranger to Salt Lake City, has credits that include second prize in the Carnegie Hall International American Music Competition of 1982, and roles with the opera companies of New York City, Seattle, St. Louis, Kansas City Lyric and Utah. She has had success in modern music, working with such contemporary composers as David Del Tredici, Lee Hoiby, Lukas Foss and Ned Rorem.
Edna Garabedian, mezzo-soprano, has achieved operatic success in the German houses of Frankfurt, Nuremburg, Stuttgart and Hannover, among others. In the U.S., this former Metropolitan and Baltimore Opera auditions winner has sung with the operas of San Francisco, Chicago Lyric, Seattle, Houston, San Diego and Baltimore among others, and with the Los Angeles Music Center Opera. She is also a frequent concert artist and recitalist.
Mark Marriott, tenor soloist, was a semi-finalist in the 1986 Luciano Pavarotti International Vocal Competition. His 1988 prizes include the Puccini Foundation Award of Palm Beach Opera Competition, and semi-finalist in the Loren L. Zachary Society Awards. He has performed opera and musical comedy extensively in California.
Utahn Michael L. Wadsworth, the bass soloist, is largely Utah trained, and has been a winner in the 1987 San Francisco Opera Regional Auditions and the Metropolitan Opera Rocky Mountain Region auditions. Wadsworth has performed extensively in opera and oratorio in Utah.
Tickets for "Messiah" range from $5 to $10, reduced from last year, and may be purchased in advance at the Symphony Hall box office, or through Smith'sTix outlets. Walk-ins for Sunday night's performance may buy tickets at a special booth inside the South Temple entrance to Crossroads Plaza mall.
Also on sale there will be the new history of the Oratorio Society, "With Them Were Ten Thousand and More," by Marcus Sidney Smith, at $18.95 a copy. (See review in this section on page E5.) The book may also be purchased at the Utah Historical Society bookstore, in the old Rio Grande Station.
The public will be admitted to a dress rehearsal at 7 p.m. on Thursday in Symphony Hall. Tickets at $2 will be available at the Symphony Hall box office, or at the door.