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Stellar Line-Up Of Singers Join Celebrated Kiwi Conductor For NZSO’s Messiah

 Messiah conductor Gemma New | Photo: Fred Stucker

Acclaimed New Zealand conductor Gemma New will lead the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra for its annual not-to-be-missed performance of Handel’s masterwork Messiah in Wellington.

New will be joined by four superb New Zealand soloists for the beloved work, best known for its inspirational ‘Hallelujah Chorus’: soprano Anna Leese, mezzo-soprano Sarah Court, tenor Frederick Jones and bass Robert Tucker.

Messiah soloists, from left Anna Leese, Sarah Court, Frederick Jones, Robert Tucker.

Messiah on 12 December will cap New’s first year conducting the national orchestra.

She made her online NZSO debut in August, conducting the Orchestra in Wellington under Covid-19 restrictions. The concert Passion was live-streamed to the nation. New also conducted the NZSO Shed Series concert Cadence, which was streamed in three parts.

Critics New in November when she led the NZSO Spectacular concerts in Wellington and Auckland.

“What a coup it was to have conductor Gemma New back home,” declared The New Zealand Herald.

“Gemma New drew from her players beautifully voiced sounds, tones finelyheld and strands exquisitely balanced,” wrote The Dominion Post.

Leese last sang Messiah with the NZSO in 2015. It will be Court, Jones, and Tucker’s first NZSO Messiah performance.

No performance of Handel’s oratorio is complete without a choir. This year the NZSO will be joined by 36 exceptional singers from The Tudor Consort.

It will be the third time The Tudor Consort has performed Messiah with the NZSO.

Messiah will also be an opportunity for audiences in December to help those in need during the festive season.

In partnership with The Wellington City Mission, the NZSO is supporting the charity’s annual Christmas Star Appeal. At Messiah audience members can donate food or funds to The Mission.

“We’re proud to once again be partnering up with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra as we look to light up Wellington this Christmas. What we collect at the concert will help to make a lasting difference in the lives of people and families in Christmas,” says Murray Edridge, Wellington City Missioner.

Tickets for Messiah are available from

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