The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, Jun. 12, 2021

Soloists named for Handel’s ‘Messiah’

Staff/Van Wert County Foundation information

"Messiah" soloists are (clockwise, from top left) Timothy Bruno, bass; Julia Szabo, alto; Charlotte Detrick, soprano; and Jake Wilder, tenor.

Soloists have been named for the biennial production of Handel’s Messiah being performed Sunday, December 9, at 7 p.m., in the candle-lit sanctuary of First United Methodist Church. Doors will open to the public by 6 p.m.  The concert is free and open to the public, although a free-will offering will be taken during the “Pastoral Symphony” to help with additional expenses.

Soloists for this year’s presentation will be soprano Charlotte Detrick, alto Julia Szabo, tenor Jake Wilder, and bass Timothy Bruno.

Detrick is a highly sought-after singing actress in the New York area, with recent leading roles including Nedda in Pagliacci, Julia Jellicoe in The Grand Duke, The Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Nadina in The Chocolate Soldier, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, and Josephine in H.M.S. Pinafore.

In 2008, she sang the role of Brigitte (lead) in the world premiere of The Yellow Star, an opera chronicling the rescue of Danish Jews written by her husband and Lima native Bradley Detrick. She also performs regularly with the New York City Opera, with whom she has toured Japan, and appeared on national television in an Emmy-award winning “Live from Lincoln Center” production of  Madama Butterfly. Favorite operatic moment: being served hors d’oeuvres by chef Mario Battali in the party scene of NYCO’s production of La Traviata last spring. She is making her second Van Wert Messiah appearance, with her first appearance in 1995.

Also making her second Van Wert Messiah appearance is Szabo. Szabo received her bachelor of music degree in vocal performance from Northern Illinois University and was a professional singer in New York City for 25 years, leading to numerous solo concert appearances at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall.

She has performed opera roles with several distinguished opera companies, such as Washington National Opera, Tulsa Opera and Sarasota Opera. For five years, Szabo performed in abridged operas for school audiences under the education departments of The Metropolitan Opera and New York City Opera. Her work with early music specialists led to her European debut at the Teatro Poleteamo Garibaldi in Palermo, Sicily, singing the lead role in Alessandro Scarlatti’s opera Gli Equivoci nel Sembiante. As a former member of the New York Choral Artists — the professional chorus for the New York Philharmonic — she has sung under the baton of Sir Colin Davis, Ricardo Chailly, Zubin Mehta, Eza-Pekka Salonen and Kurt Masur.

Her work in various NYC vocal ensembles led to a spot backing up Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli on “The Late Show with David Letterman.” Szabo now lives in Bluffton, where she works in the advancement office at Bluffton University. She has been a featured soloist on the Lima Symphony Orchestra’s “Mozart by Candlelight” series.

Wilder is no stranger to Van Wert, as he makes his second consecutive Van Wert Messiah solo appearance. Wilder finished his Bachelor of Music Performance degree in December 2010 at Bowling Green State University, specializing in voice performance. While at BGSU, Wilder performed numerous times for the College of Musical Art’s Opera Theatre program and held such roles as: Morfeo, from Gli amore d’apollo e di dafne, a North American premiere by Cavalli; Priest, from Mozart’s Die Zauberflote; Music Teacher in Haydn’s La Canterina; Erino, the drunken servant in another North American premiere by Cavalli entitled La Virtu de strali d’amore; Satyavan in Gustav Holst’s Savitri; Alfredo in Verdi’s La Traviata; and Nemorino in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore.

In 2009, Wilder competed against all other undergraduate music performance majors of all instruments in the BGSU College of Musical Arts’ annual Concerto Competition and was awarded first place after performing four well-known arias for nine judges from across the globe.

He has also competed in the Marjorie C. Peatee Art Song Competition and the Singer’s Club of Cleveland’s All Male Voice Competition.

April of 2011, Wilder had the principal role in Toledo Opera Young Artists Program “Opera on Wheels” as Count Almaviva in Rossini’s Il barbierre di saviglia (the Barber of Seville). In October 2011, he directed the music for the musical Hairspray for Grand Lake Theatrix in St. Marys. From there, he moved back home to Van Wert to work on his studies independently by teaching music from his residence. He is also worship coordinator for the early service at First United Methodist Church, as well as co-director of the Van Wert Area Boychoir, alongside Dr. Brian Anders.

Just recently, Wilder performed in Handel’s Messiah in Berne, Ind. Next week Wilder will give a public recital at First United Methodist Church in Van Wert on December 17, at 7:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

Making his first appearance in Van Wert is bass Timothy Bruno of Cincinnati. Hailed as “outstanding” and “hilarious” by, Bruno is quickly becoming a sought-after performer in the United States. Bruno is a recent graduate of the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music’s Master of Music program, where he studied with William McGraw, and holds a Bachelor of Musical Arts degree from BGSU, but he is now finding success on the professional stage. In the 2011-2012 season he debuted with six companies, including Cincinnati Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, Toledo Opera and Opera Saratoga.

Roles performed and covered include Sparafucile and Count Ceprano in Rigoletto, Timur in Turandot, Collatinus in The Rape of Lucretia, Antonio in Le nozze di Figaro (the Marriage of Figaro), and covering Eric Owens as The Storyteller in John Adam’s The Flowering Tree, of which he was a part of one of the first ever staged production with Cincinnati Opera.

On the concert stage, Bruno has been featured with many ensembles, including the Ann Arbor Cantata Singers, Bluffton Bach Festival, Dayton Bach Society, Clermont Symphony, Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, and the Moravian Symphony Orchestra, in such works as Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Monteverdi’s Vespero della Beata Vergine, Mozart’s Requiem, Fauré’s Requiem, Bach’s Magnificat, and Haydn’s Creation, Missa in Tempore Belli, Große Orgelmesse, and Lord Nelson Mass.

Recent engagements include performing Fiorello in Il barbiere di Siviglia and Curio in Giulio Cesare (“Julius Caesar,” next to David Daniels as the title character) with Michigan Opera Theater, Don Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Lawrence Brownlee as Count Almaviva at Opera Western Reserve. Upcoming engagements include performing Masetto in Don Giovanni with Toledo Opera and covering Daland in Der fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman) for his Indianapolis Opera debut.

A chorus of 70 singers from throughout the region will join the soloists and a professional chamber orchestra to perform this traditional Christmas presentation.  Paul Hoverman, senior choir director at First United Methodist and coordinator of performing arts for The Van Wert County Foundation, will conduct the performance.  Gloria Wendel, organist at First United Methodist Church in Van Wert, has been the rehearsal accompanist and will be organist for the performance, while David Van Tilburg, choir director at First Presbyterian in Van Wert, assisted in the chorus preparation.

The Van Wert County Foundation’s Saltzgaber Music Fund underwrites the performance with a grant.

POSTED: 12/01/12 at 8:10 am. FILED UNDER: News