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Messiah, Metropolitan Opera Diva at Count Basie Theatre

June 22, 2006


The Monmouth Civic Chorus announced its 2006-2007 season of superb choral music under the baton of Dr. Mark Shapiro. Subscribers save 25% over single-ticket prices, and can reserve premium Messiah seats at half price. Subscriptions are $60 for the November, March and June concerts, or $80 for all four. Student subscriptions are only $20 or $30. Call (732) 933-9333 to subscribe, or order online at

The season begins with Four Trumpets and a Chorus, an unusual pairing of voices with brass instruments. The centerpiece is the French Romantic composer Henri Busser’s Messe de Domremy, a setting of the Catholic mass for chorus and four trumpets, along with fanfares to make the rafters ring. The concert is on Saturday, November 18, 2006, at 8:00 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 255 Harding Road (Tower Hill), Red Bank, New Jersey. Tickets are $25 general admission, $22 seniors, $20 groups of 10 or more, $5 students.

A traditional holiday classic returns with Messiah Plus Christmas Pops on Sunday, December 17, 2006, at 4:00 p.m. at the Count Basie Theatre, 99 Monmouth Street, Red Bank. The Christmas portion of Handel’s beloved oratorio will be performed with chamber orchestra, along with carols from around the world. For many music lovers, it won’t be Christmas without it. Subscribers get $40 tickets for just $20. Single tickets are $40 for premium seating ($35 seniors, $30 groups, $10 students), $25 regular ($22 seniors, $20 groups, $5 students) and $15 economy ($5 students).

Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Barbara Dever joins the chorus and orchestra for Let Freedom Sing, featuring three major choral works on the theme of freedom. The highlight is the world premiere of Stronger Than Darkness, a cantata written for MCC by the Cuban-American composer Jorge Martin, celebrating the heart-pounding courage of the Mariel boatlift. The music comes from Martin’s new opera, Before Night Falls, based on the thrilling memoir by Reinaldo Arenas. Testament of Freedom by the American composer Randall Thompson sets the immortal words of Thomas Jefferson in a stirring musical rendition. Beethoven’s famed Ode to Joy becomes an Ode to Freedom, as performed by Leonard Bernstein after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The concert is at the Count Basie Theatre on Sunday, March 18, 2007, at 3:00 p.m. Tickets are $30 and $25, $27 and $22 for seniors, $25 and $20 for groups, $10 and $5 for students.

The season closes with Sounds Like Shakespeare Act II on Saturday, June 9, 2007, at 8:00 p.m. A sequel to the successful Shakespeare concert of June 2006, the evening celebrates the Bard in music from opera to Broadway. Solos, small ensembles and dramatic readings will round out the program. The performance is at the Two River Theater, 21 Bridge Avenue, Red Bank. Tickets are $25 general admission, $22 seniors, $20 groups, $5 students.

Under its award-winning Artistic Director, Dr. Mark Shapiro, the Chorus has been acclaimed as “close to perfect” (Asbury Park Press), “sonorously impressive” (The Star-Ledger) and “a vital musical presence on the New Jersey classical music scene” (Classical New Jersey).