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Cd'A Conservatory to present Handel's Messiah

Staff Reporter | November 17, 2023 1:00 AM

The Coeur d’Alene Music Conservatory will present Handel’s "Messiah" at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3 in the Schuler Auditorium at North Idaho College.

After the success of last year’s sold-out show, the performance will be reimagined this year with the addition of the soprano Madison Leonard. 

“We have a soprano this year who is quite famous on the concert stages around the country,” Conservatory Executive Director Kent Kimball said. “But she’s from Coeur d’Alene.”

Leonard has pursued her music career internationally, with multiple acclaimed performances and awards, including the National Metropolitan Opera Auditions in 2018. She has a home in Switzerland among other places now, but she agreed to come to her hometown to perform the Messiah. 

“She just would love to come and sing the 'Messiah' to the people that she loves and the people she grew up with,” Kimball said. “I’ve had the pleasure of hearing dozens and dozens of great sopranos sing the Messiah. She knocks my socks off. She’s just better. She’s wonderful.”

Leonard will be accompanied by Amanda Glover for alto, Tobin Eyestone for tenor and Steven Mortier for bass. 

Glover serves as the mezzo section leader and choral scholar at St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral in Spokane. She has sung as a soloist with the Spokane Symphony, Inland Northwest Opera, the Bitterroot Baroque Ensemble in Hamilton, Mont., and was a member of the Spokane Kantorei Choir from its inception in 2014.

Eyestone was the Director of Choral Music at Mt. Spokane High School where he also offered voice lessons to many of his students. From 2018 to 2020 he sang tenor for Spokane Kantorei. 

Mortier made his solo debut at Carnegie Hall as bass soloist with the New England Symphonic Ensemble under the baton of John Rutter. He was locally heard singing the role of Pulitzer in Spokane Valley Summer Theatre’s production of "NEWSIES!"

Handel’s "Messiah" is a magnanimous religious piece written in English using texts from the old and new testament. The work consists of prophetic verses that tell of the coming of the Christ. 

Verses are taken from Psalms, the book of Micah, the gospels, Acts, Romans, Corinthians and other books of the Bible. 

“It’s the most well-known verses of the old and new testament strung together, that is now enjoyed and loved by hundreds of millions of people on every continent all over the world,” Kimball said. “I definitely believe that it was inspired, and a lot of people do.” 

For the show Kimball will be conducting the performance which he has also sung multiple times since he fell in love with the piece in high school, many years ago, he said. 

Tickets are available online at starting at $10. Last year, 1,200 tickets sold out, as did the overflow room for 100.