Gary Thor Wedow will guest conduct the Santa Fe Symphony & Chorus in
Gary Thor Wedow will guest conduct the Santa Fe Symphony & Chorus in "Messiah" next Sunday.
Nearly 300 years since its Dublin debut, Handel's "Messiah" has rocketed to the status of folk music.
This Baroque masterpiece has been heard in everything from churches to concert halls to home-grown sing-a-long productions across the globe.
"Everybody knows it," Santa Fe Symphony guest conductor Gary Thor Wedow said.
wrote it in an operatic fashion in terms of variety and passion and thrust.
It's like reading a great book.
You can't put the book down."
Wedow will join the Santa Fe Symphony & Chorus in performing Handel's masterwork.
"It is probably one of the greatest pieces of music written by a theatrical composer at the height of his
said in a telephone interview from Seattle.
knew what worked."
An Italian-style operatic composer, Handel knew how to lead listeners through a dramatic story of redemption.
"Whether you're a Christian or not, you get swept up in this story," Wedow
"It's this thrilling, white-knuckled piece you have to tell in this Hitchcockian manner - not telling the ending too soon and keeping the audience at the edge of their seat."
Thanks to "Messiah's" prominence, most musicians and singers have performed it at least once, an advantage to any conductor open to different interpretations, Wedow
"You come to people who have studied this piece their entire lives," he
"It's a wonderful kaleidoscope."
Many of the soloists boast Santa Fe connections.
Soprano Devon Guthrie is a former Santa Fe Opera apprentice singer; she
sang in last season's "Fidelio."
was a student of Juilliard
The concert marks a sort of homecoming for Wedow, who worked as the Santa Fe Opera's choral director until about 1998, he said.
conducts at the Seattle Opera and made his
New York Philharmonic debut with "Messiah" in 2012.
Wedow has taught at the Juilliard School since 1994.
"I love New Mexico," he