Auer Performance Hall at PFW Music Center



Benjamin Rivera, conductor
Fort Wayne Philharmonic Chorus, Benjamin Rivera, director
Josefien Stoppelenburg, soprano
Ashlee Bickley, mezzo-soprano
Cameo Humes, tenor
Ryan Cox, baritone 

Handel’s most recognizable and revered masterpiece is performed to the warm glow of candlelight in the most luminous of settings. The Philharmonic’s Messiah is now considered Fort Wayne’s most popular holiday tradition. Experience the “Hallelujah” Chorus and other favorites in a Christmas event you’ll never forget. Sellouts are expected. 


HANDEL        Messiah, HWV 56

Overture (Sinfony)
Recitative: “Comfort ye, my people”
Aria: “Every valley shall be exalted”
Chorus: “And the glory of the Lord”
Recitative: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive”
Aria: “O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion”
Recitative: “For, behold”
Aria: “The people that walked in darkness”
Chorus: “For unto us a Child is born”
Pifa (Pastoral Symphony)
Recitative: “There were shepherds”
Chorus: “Glory to God”
Aria: “Rejoice greatly”
Recitative: “Then shall the eyes of the blind”
Aria: “He shall feed His flock”
Chorus: “His yoke is easy”


Chorus: “Behold the Lamb of God”
Aria: “He was despised”
Chorus: “Surely He hath borne our griefs”
Chorus: “And with His stripes we are healed”
Chorus: “All we, like sheep, have gone astray”
Recitative: “Thy rebuke hath broken His heart”
Aria: “Behold, and see”
Recitative: “He was cut off”
Aria: “But Thou didst not leave”
Chorus: “The Lord Gave the word”
Aria: “How beautiful are the feet”
Chorus: “Their sound is gone out”
Aria: “Why do the nations so furiously rage together”
Chorus: “Let us break their bonds asunder”
Chorus: “Hallelujah”

Aria: “I know that my Redeemer liveth”
Chorus: “Since by man came death”
Recitative: “Behold I tell you a mystery”
Aria: “The trumpet shall sound”
Recitative: “Then shall be brought to pass”
Duet: “O death, where is thy sting?”
Chorus: “But thanks be to God”
Chorus: “Worthy is the Lamb”

Listen to our Messiah by Candlelight playlist on Spotify.

Josefien Stoppelenburg performed several times for Dutch Royal Family.  She is currently performing all over the United States as a specialist of Baroque Music and as a concert singer. Stoppelenburg performed most major oratorio works by Bach, Handel, Haydn and Mozart, including Bach's St John and St Matthew Passion, Christmas Oratorio, Mass in B minor, and many of his cantatas. By the end of this season, Josefien will have performed all Bach's cantatas for solo soprano.

She frequently performs Mozart's Requiem, the Mass in C minor, Handel's Messiah, Dixit Dominus, La Resurrezione and many of Handel's other vocal works.

Mezzo-soprano Ashlee Bickley performs and teaches various genres across the classical singing medium.  Recent operatic roles include Dorabella (Così fan tutte), Angelina/Cenerentola (La Cenerentola), Hansel (Hansel and Gretel), Mother (Amahl and the Night Visitors), Alma March (Little Women), Geneviève (Pelléas et Mélisande), and Mother/Grandmother (Little Red Riding Hood).  Operatic covers include Stéphano (Roméo et Juliette), Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus), Marcellina (Le nozze di Figaro), and Tisbe (La Cenerentola).

Ashlee has appeared with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Ocala Symphony, Concordia Theological Seminary, Heartland Sings and Bach Collegium Fort Wayne as the alto soloist in numerous works by J.S. Bach, Stravinsky’s Les Noces, Händel’s Messiah, Charpentier’s Te Deum, Vivaldi’s Gloria, and the US premieres of CPE Bach’s St. John Passion and Halévy’s Prométhée Enchaîné.  An avid recitalist and new music advocate, Ashlee was recently the featured performer at the Manchester University New Music Festival and Rural America New Music Festival and has performed on recital series’ at several churches and schools.  Ashlee holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and Florida State University and was a Resident Artist Fellow with the Atlantic Music Festival from 2014 to 2016.  She is on faculty at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne and Trine University.

Cameo Humes is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after tenors in the operatic and concert repertoire.  His opera credits include the title role in Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito, Ottavio (Don Giovanni) with Operafestival di Roma, Almaviva (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Gastone (La Traviata), Prunier (La Rondine), Peter (Porgy and Bess) with Lyric Opera of Chicago (cover), and Crab man (Porgy and Bess) with The Princeton Festival. Recent concert engagements include Handel’s Judas Maccabeus, Mozart’s Grand Mass in C minor, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with the Bach Society of Dayton, Bach St. John Passion and Mass in B minor, and The Seven Last Words of Christ by Théodore Dubois.In May, Mr. Humes was invited to Los Angeles to record the role of Paul Laurence Dunbar in Richard Thompson’s The Mask in the Mirror, a role he had previously performed on the operatic stage with Trilogy Opera of New Jersey.  This recording was under the baton of renown conductor Stephen Tucker and featured members of the LA Opera orchestra.  Upcoming engagements include a debut in October 2016 with Teatroalla Scala (Milan) singing the roles of Robbins, Peter, Mingo and Crab man in their semi-staged production of Porgy and Bess.

Ryan Cox has been a professional member of the Grant Park Chorus and Chicago Symphony Chorus since 2003.  Operatic roles include The Count in La Nozze di Figaro, Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte, and the title role in Gianni Schicchi.  As a boy soprano, he was the soloist in Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus under Michael Tilson-Thomas.   Mr. Cox is the music director at First Congregational Church in La Grange where he is also the Director and voice teacher of the First Conservatory of Music.  He is a graduate of Millikin University with degrees in Vocal Performance and Business Management.   

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