News release from the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Orchestra:
The Fort Wayne Philharmonic and Chorus Present Holiday Pops: Home for the Holidays
(November 15, 2015) – The Fort Wayne Philharmonic and Chorus usher in the Yuletide season with the much beloved Holiday Pops at the Embassy Theatre on December 11, 12, and 19, 2015.
Holiday Pops is going back to its roots and Home for the Holidays. The Philharmonic and Chorus are joined by special guests in a program of the traditional holiday favorites you know and love. The “Hallelujah” Chorus, a Christmas carol sing-along, and visitors from the North Pole sparkle in the majestic Embassy Theatre, decorated in holiday splendor especially for the occasion. These performances are designed to deliver fun for the entire family.
The program features a magnificent cast including soprano Kishna Davis, backed by hometown native Billy Dawson and University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music graduate Nathaniel Irvin, The Fort Wayne Children’s Choir, and The Philharmonic Chorus. The entire production will be led by assistant conductor Chia-Hsuan Lin.
“Our holiday concerts have always been lively and fun. I very much look forward to directing the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Chorus, and guests in these revered performances. We’ll focus on beloved holiday classics, but add sparkle and visual excitement while celebrating the season with friends, performers, and our loyal audiences,” Lin said.
A perfect balance between traditional and popular, the program will include Hark, the Herald Angels Sing, The First Noel, Twelve Days of Christmas, Sleigh Ride, and Winter Wonderland. In addition, everyone will be invited to stand to sing the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah, as well as participate with friends old and new in a Christmas Carol sing-along. Theatrical direction of the program is by longtime collaborator Christopher Murphy.
“The first act is more traditional with Christmas carols and other selections which will match perfectly with Kishna Davis’ operatic talents. The second half will be more secular, in line with previous Holiday Pops shows, featuring popular tunes along with Santa and Mrs. Claus. I encourage anyone who hasn’t seen the Holiday Pops in a few years to check it out,” Murphy said.
Soprano Kishna Davis has won wide critical acclaim throughout the United States and Europe for her deeply intimate artistry, commanding vocal ability, and versatile stage presence. She made her New York City Opera debut singing the role of Bess in Porgy and Bess, a role she repeated many times including performances with the Opera Company of Philadelphia, Indianapolis Opera as well as European performances in Rome, St. Petersburg, Istanbul, Berlin, and Siena. A graduate of Morgan State University and the Juilliard Opera Center, Davis currently is a voice faculty member at Kent State University.
Fort Wayne native Billy Dawson, currently residing in Chicago, has been hailed as “golden-voiced,” possessing “stunning, stage scorching, stage presence.” His credits include Sir David McVicar’s new critically-acclaimed production of Wozzeck at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Tosca (Lyric Opera of Chicago), Fiddler on the Roof, Damn Yankees, The Merry Widow (Light Opera Works), and The Phantom of the Opera (Harbor Country Opera). He is no stranger to Fort Wayne stages, with credits including Curtains, Rent, Hairspray, Frankenstein, Once Upon A Mattress (Civic Theatre, Two-time Anthony Award winner), Noises Off, A Funny Thing Happenedâ€¦Forum, All My Sons, Urinetown, Eurydice (IPFW), and The World Goes ‘Round (Arena Dinner Theatre). In April 2016, Mr. Dawson will be playing Jamie in Three Rivers Music Theatre’s inaugural production of The Last Five Years, and he will also be featured in Auditions: A Mockumentary, produced by Rough Cut Films, due for release in 2016.
Nathaniel Irvin is a recent graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music where he played numerous roles including “Ernst” in Spring Awakening, “Roscoe Dexter” in Singin’ in the Rain, “Grantaire” in Les MisÃ©rables, “Emmett” in Legally Blonde, and “Captain Hook” in Peter Pan. A few of his recent professional credits include “Marius” in Les MisÃ©rables (La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts) and as guest soloist for the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists national convention in Orlando, Florida. Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, he has been a featured performer with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Skylight Milwaukee Opera among others.
Tickets for “Holiday Pops: Home for the Holidays” start at just $29 and are conveniently available for purchase online at fwphil.org. Purchases can also be made in person at The Phil Box Office located at 4901 Fuller Drive or over the phone by calling 260-481-0777. The Phil Box Office is open Monday through Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., or Saturday (Masterworks and Pops concert days only) from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. Tickets may also be available for purchase at the Embassy Theatre during normal operating hours and two hours prior to each concert. Full program and series information is available at fwphil.org.
About the Fort Wayne Philharmonic
Fort Wayne Philharmonic Now performing its 72th season, The Fort Wayne Philharmonic’s mission is to inspire and foster a lifelong love of classical music through performance and education. The Phil is led by Music Director Andrew Constantine. The Phil is a member of the League of American Orchestras and a funded member of Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne, the Indiana Arts Commission and National Endowment for the Arts. For additional information, log on to our website: fwphil.org.