American Classical Orchestra’s Holiday Concert: Italian Masterpieces at Corpus Christi Church

In a festive celebration of Italian musical heritage, the American Classical Orchestra (ACO), under the guidance of Founder and Artistic Director Thomas Crawford, is set to enchant audiences with a holiday concert program on Thursday, December 14 at 7 PM at Corpus Christi Church, located at W. 121 St. between Broadway & Amsterdam in Manhattan.

This concert marks the second of four Manhattan performances by the ACO this season, featuring a captivating selection of Italian works, including the rediscovery of Antonio Bencini’s long-lost Christmas oratorio “Gesù Nato” and Antonio Gianettini’s “Magnificat,” in collaboration with the Academy of Sacred Drama.

The heart of the program lies in the resurrection of Antonio Bencini’s forgotten masterpiece, “Gesù Nato,” rescued from the depths of the Vatican archives. This Christmas oratorio, composed in 1742, offers a glimpse into the enchanting world of the Nativity, featuring vocal soloists, a choir, and a vibrant orchestra of trumpets, oboes, and strings. Antonio Gianettini’s “Magnificat” and five psalm settings, written for four-part chorus with string accompaniment, further enrich the program, providing a sonic tapestry rooted in the Roman Catholic tradition.

The evening will be graced by the talents of renowned soloists:

Linda Tsatsanis (Soprano): Praised by The New York Times for her “ravishing” performance at the Boston Early Music Festival.
Kate Maroney (Mezzo-Soprano): A CBC and Naxos recording artist, also recognized for her expertise as a voice and vocal pedagogy teacher at Mannes School of Music and Yale University.
Alex Guerrero (Tenor): Applauded by The New York Times for his “apt comic timing,” Guerrero has been a featured singer in numerous ACO performances.

The members of the American Classical Orchestra Chorus will join forces with the soloists to deliver a mesmerizing performance under the baton of Thomas Crawford.

Antonio Gianettini, a 17th-century Italian organist, singer, and composer, will take center stage with his Psalms and the majestic Magnificat. Having served as maestro di cappella to Francesco II d’Este, Duke of Modena, Gianettini’s compositions were cherished in both Italy and Germany during his lifetime.

The rediscovery of Antonio Bencini’s “Gesù Nato” is a significant musical event, offering what is likely the modern premiere of this hidden gem. Composed in 1742, the oratorio captures the spirit of the Nativity and was tucked away in the Vatican Library for three centuries before resurfacing.

This performance is a collaborative effort between ACO and the Academy of Sacred Drama, founded by ACO violinist and scholar Jeremy Rhizor in 2013. The Academy is dedicated to Baroque oratorio that draws inspiration from biblical tales and the lives of saints, enriching the cultural and spiritual experience.

Tickets for this musical extravaganza are priced at $75, $55, and $35, and can be purchased at ACO’s website or by calling ACO at (212) 362-2727, ext. 4.

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