Israel in

By George Frideric Handel

November 28, 2018 at 8:00PM | Carnegie Hall

MasterVoices | New York Baroque Incorporated | Ted Sperling, Conductor

On November 28 at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage, Mr. Sperling will lead the New York premiere of a multi-media version of Israel in Egypt, Handel’s timely oratorio of exile and displacement, reflecting the biblical account of the heroic flight of Israelites enslaved in Pharaonic Egypt and their crossing the Red Sea. In collaboration with The Juilliard School, MasterVoices will feature soloists who are current students or alumni from the Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts, including sopranos Mikaela Bennett and Jessica Niles, countertenor John Holiday, baritone Gregory Feldmann and bass-baritone Erik Van Heyningen, as well as rising star tenor Andrew Stenson. The program will also feature the New York Baroque Incorporated period instrument ensemble and Syrian-Armenian visual artist Kevork Mourad. Mourad will create a combination of pre-composed film and in-the-moment paintings that bring a personal perspective to the work’s universal theme of displacement and the entrenched human instinct to return home. Commented the artist, “This story is very familiar to me because of my Armenian background. My ancestors were forced to leave their homes 100 years ago and were welcomed by Syrians. And now this has happened to the Syrians: almost half the population has been forced to leave their homes. The story of the Exodus is mirrored in the refugee crisis in the country of my birth, Syria, and many other countries around the world, where people are forced out of their homes due to violence and economic hardship. History is repeating itself, and the idea of finding a new home, the right to safety, is something that resonates with me, the descendant of refugees.”

by Kevork Mourad

Kevork Mourad, a member of the Silk Road Ensemble as a visual artist, is known for making fantastical paintings in spontaneous collaboration with performing artists. His process for Israel in Egypt involves a technique of live painting that will be projected onto the walls of the hall, combined with animated sequences. This production was commissioned by Los Angeles Master Chorale, which premiered it in February 2018 at Walt Disney Hall. Mourad’s multi-media work The Sound of Stone will be performed on November 2 under the auspices of MetLiveArts at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Ted Sperling, Conductor
Kevork Mourad, Visual Artist
Mikaela Bennett, Soprano
Jessica Niles, Soprano
John Holiday, Countertenor
Andrew Stenson, Tenor
Gregory Feldmann, Baritone
Erik Van Heyningen, Bass-Baritone
New York Baroque Incorporated
Frances Aronson, Lighting Designer

Tickets for Israel in Egypt are on sale now. Tickets may be purchased online at, by calling CarnegieCharge at 212.247.7800, or in person at the Carnegie Hall box office at 57th and Seventh Avenue.

Make a night of it! Join us for MasterVoices’ Fall Gala on November 28 prior to the concert performance.  Learn more and buy tickets.

MasterVoices Members save 15% on tickets.  Learn more about becoming a MV Member.

Running time for this concert is 2 hours with a 15-minute intermission included.

Mikaela Bennett

Previous MV Performance: Our America (2018)

A recent graduate of The Juilliard School, Mikaela Bennett made her pro- fessional stage debut starring as Penelope in The Golden Apple at City Center Encores! Ms. Bennett recently per- formed at the BBC Proms starring as Maria in a concert version of West Side Story at the Royal Albert Hall with the John Wilson Orchestra. Ms. Bennett made her solo debut with the  New  York Philharmonic singing excerpts from West Side Story for their Young People’s Concert series, conducted by Leonard Slatkin, and also made her debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra with conductor Yannick  Nézet-Séguin in a concert version of West Side Story. Ms. Bennett performed as a featured soloist in a concert celebration of Bernstein’s centennial at the Kennedy Center called Bernstein on Broadway, directed by Kathleen Marshall and con- ducted by Rob Fisher. She has appeared with the San Francisco Symphony and New World Symphony, conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas, for the world premiere of his work, Four Preludes on Playthings of the Wind. At the Prototype Festival this season Ms. Bennett origi- nated the title role of Acquanetta in a new opera composed by Michael Gordon and directed by Daniel Fish. Ms. Bennett has appeared with MasterVoices conducted by Ted Sperling, performed at Carnegie Hall with the New York Festival of Song, and has performed in New York City’s prestigious cabaret venues including Joe’s Pub at The Public and solo concerts at Feinstein’s 54 below. She is a native of Ottawa, Canada.

Jessica Niles

Soprano Jessica Niles is completing her undergraduate degree at The Juilliard School, where she is a proud recipient of a Kovner Fellowship. Most recently she sang Adina in L’elisir d’amore with ARE Opera and with Chautauqua Institution, Anne Page in Die Lustige Weiber von Windsor at The Juilliard School, and Julie in Carousel at Chau- tauqua Institution. Upcoming roles include Eurydice in Orpheus in the Underworld at The Juilliard School. Recent chamber performances include Schoenberg’s Second String Quartet as part of Juilliard’s ChamberFest, and The Opposite of Loneliness: A Chamber Piece (Wenzelberg), which Ms. Niles commissioned and premiered in the spring of 2018. Recent concerts include recitals coached by Craig Rutenberg, Ben Moore, and Natalia Katyukova, as well as the New York City premiere of Gavrillin’s Russian cantata Chimes with Cantori New York. She is an alumna of Houston Grand Opera’s Young Artist Vocal Academy and The Juilliard Pre-College. Ms. Niles has won awards from The National Hal Leonard Art Song Competition; The National Young Arts Foundation; The Virginia Lions Club Bland Competition; the Washington, D.C., chapter of The National Society of Arts and Letters; and The George London Foundation.

John Holiday

Countertenor John Holiday, winner of the 2017 Marian Anderson Vocal Award and nominee for “Newcomer of the Year” by the German magazine Opernwelt, has quickly established him- self as a fast-rising singer to watch, with his voice that has been praised as “a thing of astonishing beauty” (New Yorker). Mr. Holiday’s 2018–19 season includes a role debut as Nero in Agrippina with Ars Lyrica, Handel’s Israel in  Egypt with MasterVoices at Carnegie  Hall, and a debut with the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor in Handel’s Messiah. His season continues with his debut at the National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts in Taiwan, singing the role of the First Male Voice in  Huang Ruo’s chamber opera Paradise Interrupted. Other recent highlights include creating the role of John Blue in the world premiere of We Shall Not Be Moved with Opera Philadelphia, his Kennedy Center debut for his Marian Anderson Award Recital, and a tour with the LA Phil and Gustavo Dudamel. Recently chosen as a 2018 Yerba Buena Center for the Arts 100  honoree,  in  the company of individuals such as Madeleine Albright, Glenn Close, and Janelle Monáe,  Mr.  Holiday  received his bachelor of music in vocal perform- ance from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, a master of music in vocal performance from the University of Cincinnati College  –  Conservatory  of Music, and the artist diploma in opera studies from The Juilliard School.

Andrew Stenson

Andrew Stenson is quickly building a reputation as one of the United States’ most exciting young tenors, with a bril- liant tone, artistic intellect, and superb Minnesota Opera as Fadinard in The Italian Straw Hat, as well as Utah  Opera as Tamino in Die Zauberflöte. Last season included the tenor’s role and company debut with Wexford Festival Opera as Ernesto in Foroni’s Margherita. He also returned to the portrayals of a variety of roles. His 2018–19 season begins with his Dallas Opera debut as the Steersman in Der Fliegende  Holländer.  He  also  joins  the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Ferrando in Così fan tutte, sang the title role of Candide with the San Francisco Symphony, and made his company debut with Opera Theatre of St. Louis in the world premiere of the two-act version of An American Soldier, singing the role of Danny Chen.

Gregory Feldmann

Baritone Gregory Feldmann is a rising young artist on opera and concert stages alike. He made his professional debut in May 2018 with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as a Gerdine Young Artist. With OTSL, Mr. Feldmann sang the role of A Messenger in Verdi’s La traviata, and he covered the role of Cal in Blitzstein’s Regina, as well as Private Bryan Johnston in Huang Ruo’s An American Soldier. Mr. Feldmann enjoys a new partner- ship with Steven Blier and the New York Festival of Song. In January 2018 Mr. Feldmann and Blier gave two world premieres of John Corigliano’s song literature, performing the cycle Rhymes of the Irreverent and song “no comet ever scratched the sky” at Peter Jay Sharp Theatre. Mr. Feldmann is a master of music degree candidate at The Juilliard School, under the guidance of baritone Sanford Sylvan. With Juilliard Opera, Mr. Feldmann performed the role of Ananias in Britten’s Burning Fiery Furnace, as well as L’horlage Comtoise and Le Chat in a concert production of Ravel’s L’enfant et les Sortileges  in  Alice Tully Hall. He has appeared in summer festivals nationally and inter- nationally, including SongFest, Oberlin in Italy, and the Chautauqua Voice Institute. Mr. Feldmann hails from  York, Pennsylvania.

Erik van Heyningen

Bass-baritone Erik van Heyningen is currently a resident of New York City, where he is starting his artist diploma in opera studies at The Juilliard School. In the summer of 2018 he spent his sec- ond summer as an apprentice artist at the Santa Fe Opera, where his assign- ments included The Imperial Commis- sioner  in  Madame  Butterfly,  Ragotzki/ Archbishop in Candide, and covering Haly in L’italiana in Algeri, Pangloss/ Voltaire/Cacambo/Martin  in  Candide, and Robert J. Oppenheimer in Dr. Atomic. In the 2017–18 season Mr. van Heyningen was a resident artist at the Michigan Opera Theatre, where he appeared as Count Ceprano in Rigoletto, Ernest Hemingway et. al in 27, and Angelotti in Tosca. Previously, Mr. van Heyningen was a young artist at Opera Theatre of St. Louis, where he appeared as both a Gerdine Young Artist and a Richard Gaddes Festival Artist, most recently as Truffaldino in Ariadne auf Naxos, a role he later reprised at Austin Opera in 2018. He is a recipient of the Donald Gramm Memorial Award from the Santa Fe Opera, the Richman Memorial Award from the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and the First Prize from the Gerda Lissner Song and Lieder division.