The Tabernacle Choir Blog

Acclaimed Soloists Join Orchestra and Chorale for Spring Concert

The glorious music of Brahms, Mozart, and Smetana will resound in the spring concert of the Orchestra at Temple Square and the Temple Square Chorale on Friday, April 17, and Saturday, April 18, 2015, at 7:30 p.m. in the Salt Lake Tabernacle. Ryan Murphy, associate director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir will conduct the performances. (Tickets have all been distributed but patrons are encouraged to come for standby seating.)

The first half of the program will feature Variations on a Theme by Joseph Haydn by Johannes Brahms and the Overture to The Bartered Bride by Bedřich Smetana. The concert’s second half will showcase the Temple Square Chorale, the training ensemble for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, performing Mozart’s Requiem, one of the most storied and enigmatic works in the classical canon.

The four soloists for the Mozart Requiem are much sought-after performers on international as well as national and local stages:  Melissa Heath, Laura Garff Lewis, Tyler Nelson and Tyler Oliphant. Their list of stage credits promises an inspiring and dramatic musical evening.

Audiences will remember soprano Melissa Heath from her stunning role in the Choir’sMessiah presentation in 2014. A graduate of Brigham Young University with a master of music degree in voice from the University of Utah, she has a varied career of opera, concert and recital work including Amy in Mark Adamo’s Little Women, Cunegonde in Bernstein’s Candide, La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi, Marianne in Tartuffe, Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, First Lady in The Magic Flute, Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto with La Musica Lirica in Novafeltria, Italy, Nanetta in Verdi’s Falstaff, and the title role in Floyd’s Susannah. She has performed previously with both the Orchestra at Temple Square and Temple Square Chorale.

Mezzo-soprano Laura Garff Lewis, a former member and soloist with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, has performed with the Utah Opera in a variety of roles including Suzuki in Madame Butterfly, Lola in Cavalleria rusticana, Mrs. Page in The Merry Wives of Windsor, the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Siebel in Faust, Nicklausse inThe Tales of Hoffmann, and Hansel in Hansel and Gretel. She has also performed extensively in Utah Symphony engagements including the Mahler Resurrection Symphony, Mozart RequiemA Concert for Apollo, Act II of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde,Alexander Nevsky by Prokofiev, An Evening with Rodgers and Hammerstein, andMessiah Sing-In. She holds a bachelor of music degree and a master of fine arts degree from the University of Utah and has been a soloist with the Oratorio Society of Utah, Salt Lake Choral Artists, Utah Chamber Artists, Temple Square Chorale, Suisse Romande Radio Choir, and Berkshire Choral Festival.

Tyler Nelson is one of America’s most promising young tenors and has already appeared on stage at the Kennedy Center and at Carnegie Hall. His recent concert performances include Britten’s Serenade, Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9, Mozart’s Requiem and Bach’sSt. John Passion, and Orff’s Carmina Burana. With a wide range of serious and comic operatic experience, including successive seasons with Ohio Light Opera, Mr. Nelson is a frequent performer at the Castleton Festival, under the baton of Maestro Lorin Maazel, performing the roles of Gherardo and Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, the Mayor in Albert Herring, Maese Pedro in El retablo del Maese Pedro, Father in 7 Deadly Sins, La rainette in L’enfant et les sortileges, and Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, which he performed at the National Center for the performing arts in Beijing, China.

Baritone Tyler Oliphant, comfortable on both the opera and concert stage, began his career in local musical theater, and has performed throughout the United States and Europe. He has been a frequent guest soloist with Utah Symphony, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Salt Lake Choral Artists, Hale Centre Theatre, Grand Theatre, Utah Opera, and Cathedral of the Madeleine. He has appeared in Don PasqualeCosí fan tutteThe Magic Flute, and the title character in Verdi’s Falstaff and has performed Mozart’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Creation, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Bruckner’s Te Deum, and Britten’s Cantata Misericordium and Dona nobis pacem