Join the AMICCO Chorus & Orchestra, Maestro Gershfeld and Guest Soloists for the Most Ambitious Concert of AMICCO’S 23 year History – the Berlioz “L’enfance du Christ” on Sunday, December 13 , 2pm at CrossPointe Fellowship Church in Holmes Beach

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Join the AMICCO Chorus & Orchestra, Maestro Gershfeld and Guest Soloists for the Most Ambitious Concert of AMICCO’S 23 year History – the Berlioz “L’enfance du Christ.” 

Anna Maria Island’s premier performing arts symphony and chorus, Anna Maria Island Concert Chorus & Orchestra, is pleased to announce it will perform the quintessential Christmas season composition for orchestra, choir, and soloists, Hector Berlioz’ L’enfance du Christ (The Childhood of Christ), on Sunday, December 13 , 2pm at CrossPointe Fellowship Church in Holmes Beach. This is a beautiful and profound musical occasion commencing the holiday season and a rare opportunity for concert-goers to experience the masterpiece. This remarkable oratorio will celebrate the upcoming holiday season as AMICCO remembers the life of Alisa Kretzmer, a most important AMICCO supporter who along with her husband Ernest Kretzmer, loved this work. This Christmas story provides an inspiring and stirring introduction to AMICCO’s 2015-2016 concert season.

This work is possible because of the Anna Maria Island Chamber’s Trolley Grant Program. All five of the soloists are paid by this grant. This is an opportunity to hear singers who normally only perform out of larger music houses like the New York Metropolitan and international venues. It is rare that such an accomplished troupe of talented singers is performing outside of their normal larger venues. This is really a feather in AMICCO’s cap and an opportunity for our patrons that won’t occur again.  The Berloiz, while rarely performed is one of the most celebrated and beautiful of holiday concerts. It is the true spirit of the holidays. The fact that it is being performed on Anna Maria Island is astounding, considering that it is almost always performed by larger well-funded musical organizations like Chicago and New York. This is an opportunity that should not be missed – due to the rarity of the circumstances.

Dating from 1854, accomplished composer Berlioz created the huge work, L’enfance du Christ (The Childhood of Christ) taking four years for its composition. It was an immediate success in the composer’s lifetime and received high praise from Paris newspapers. L’enfance depicts the childhood of Christ as well as Herod’s edict on Judea infants, which led to the fleeing of Mary, Joseph and Jesus.

The work is a rarely performed sparkling jewel in the crown of holiday music, cherished by thoughtful music lovers worldwide. While L’enfance was performed by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra in 2009 and the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2012, AMICCO’s ambitious, full production with soloists, chorus and orchestra will be a significant first in southwest Florida.

The oratorio requires significant guest soloists for the demanding arias and vocal narrations, memorable choruses and a full orchestra. AMICCO presents locally and nationally known vocal soloists to bring this touching piece to life, including guest soloists:

Michelle Giglio, Soprano, Role of Mary

Ms. Giglio has toured and recorded in France and throughout Europe with the Orchestre National de France and Orchestre Philharmonique de France, in addition to live appearances on France Musique (French national classical music station). She toured Europe with the opera, performing at the Opéra National de Lyon, La Rampe (Echiroles), Auditorio Nacional de Madrid and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. Ms. Giglio performed on Celine Dion’s album“S’il suffisait d’aimer,” Sony records as well as in William Klein’s film “ Messiah.” Local performances in Florida include the North American Premiere of the New Critical Edition of Rossini’s Petitte Messe Solonelle; the Southwest Florida Symphony Ft. Myers; the Sarasota Orchestra and Gloria Musicae at the Sarasota Opera House, the Sarasota Orchestra, the St. Petersburg Opera & Florimezzo Orchestra in St. Petersburg, the Center City Opera in PA and frequently as featured Solo Vocalist with the Anna Maria Island Concert Chorus & Orchestra.

Daniel Gerdes, Tenor, Role of Narrator

Mr. Gerdes made his international debut as Paride in Gluck’s Paride ed Elena with Opera Piccola Bremen in Germany. He was a Gerdine Young Artist with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis where he covered the role of Pedrillo in The Abduction from the Seraglio and returned to Opera Theatre of Saint Louis to sing the role of Spirit of the Masque in Britten’s’ Gloriana, as well as Borsa in Rigoletto. He was a young artist with The Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera, for the roles of Ernesto in Don Pasquale. He performed with New York City Opera for the role of Count Libenskof in Il Viaggio a Reims; sang the tenor solos in Carmina Burana with the Tupelo Symphony, and the Evangelist in Bach’s Johannes Passion with the Florida State University Symphony. Recent appearances include the Tenor Soloist in Handel’s Messiah, Shostakovich’s From Jewish Folk Poetry both with Florida Atlantic University, the Tenor Soloist in Mozart’s Requiem and the Evangelist in Bach’s Johannes Passion both with University of Wisconsin La Crosse. He recently performed with the Miami Lyric Opera singing Alfredo in La Traviata. AMICCO Patrons will remember him as Frederic in the March performance of Pirates and Penzance.

Luis González, Baritone, Role of Joseph

Praised for his thrilling performances, outstanding musicality, and gorgeous lyric sound, Mexican-American baritone Luis González has performed with the South Florida Lyric Opera and the Opera Tampa Singers and the St. Petersburg Opera. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, González made his stage debut with Opera San Jose, singing in The Crucible, Un ballo in maschera, Le nozze di Figaro, Tosca, Carmen, Der fliegende Holländer, La bohème, and Don Giovanni. He holds vocal performance degrees from San Jose State University and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he sang Guglielmo in Così fan tutte and Ruggiero in Alcina. An alumnus of the AIMS Opera and Operetta Studios, he has also trained in the Young Artist Programs of Bel Cantanti Opera, St. Petersburg Opera, Crested Butte Music Festival and the Sherrill Milnes’ Voice Studio.

Jason Stearns, Bass, Role of Herod

Jason Stearns is well known for taking on the most unique and challenging roles in the dramatic baritone repertoire. He has appeared with the New York Metropolitan Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Savonlinna Festival, and the Los Angeles Opera. Mr. Stearns sang the title role in Macbeth at Palacio das Artes in Belo Horizante, Brazil, and Monterone in Rigoletto under Maestro Conlon at the Ravinia Festival. He frequently performs with the New York Metropolitan Opera and the Den Norske Opera in Oslo.

Additional performances include the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Opera Boston, the Los Angeles Opera, the Florida Grand Opera, the Leipzig Opera, Boston’s Chorus Pro Musica, and the Mill Foreman in Jenufa at Los Angeles Opera. His European debut was as Di Luna in Il trovatore with Musiktheater im Revier in Gelsenkirchen. Mr. Stearns has also appeared with Washington National Opera. With the National Symphony in Washington, D.C., Mr. Stearns recorded the baritone solos in John Corigliano’s Of Rage and Remembrance, which won a Grammy Award in 1997.

Daniel A. Hoffman, Baritone, Roles of Polydorus and Father

Mr. Hoffman is an honors graduate from the Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington, Indiana and has performed with opera companies and symphonies throughout the United States. He created the role of “Man” in the world premiere performance of the musical production The Three Queens in New York and recently sang the principal role of Danilo in The Merry Widow at the Golden Apple Dinner Theater. His favorite roles include Germont in La Traviata, Escamillo the Toreador in Carmen and Colline in La Boheme. Mr. Hoffman has also enjoyed experiences as a choral conductor, musical director, stage director, choreographer, composer, voice teacher and vocal coach. Outside of music, Dan has a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville and is a member of the Florida Bar.

Tickets for L’enfance du Christ are available at, by calling Jeanie at 941-795-2370 or the Anna Maria Island Chamber at 5313 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach and, if still available, at the door.

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