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Choral groups and guests present Handel’s Messiah in Abbotsford

Concert on Saturday, Dec. 10 at Central Heights Church

The Valley Festival Singers, the Pacific Spirit Choir, and producer Calvin Dyck present the famous oratorio Messiah in Abbotsford on Saturday, Dec. 10.

The groups are joined by professional musicians and members of the Abbotsford Youth Orchestra for the concert, which starts at 2 p.m. at Central Heights Church, 1661 McCallum Rd.

The Messiah is considered one of the greatest classical works and has become a favourite Christmas tradition for audiences around the world.

Dyck has performed Messiah more than 40 times and still finds the work inspiring.

“I find the music of Handel’s Messiah utterly uplifting and exultant. It seems to me that the text and music are perfectly matched; this work still has the power to move audiences some 280 years after it was written,” he said.

He said some of his favourite numbers in Messiah include the dance-like chorus For, Unto Us a Child is Born, the bass aria The Trumpet Shall Sound and the exultant Hallelujah Chorus.

King George II stood up for the Hallelujah Chorus in 1743, and audiences still follow the tradition to this day.

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Soloists for the concert include Max Van Wyck, whose love for performing and his passion for music led him across Canada – from UBC, through the master’s program at the University of Toronto, to a two-year contract with the L’Opéra de Montréal – before moving to Europe.

Currently he is busy performing opera and oratorio roles in Germany.

Mezzo-soprano Juliana Curcio has travelled the globe singing a variety of opera roles, including in Alaska, Florida, New York, Mexico, Toronto, Germany and St. Petersburg.

Curcio has a master’s of music from the Manhattan School of Music and a bachelor of music and bachelor of arts from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. She currently makes her home in Frankfurt, Germany.

Canadian tenor Matthew Dalen has performed with opera companies and symphonies throughout Canada, the United States, and Europe.

Praised in Opera Canada magazine for his “warm tone and good connection to text,” Dalen was a member of l’Atelier Lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal and debuted in Die Zauberflöte.

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Soprano Alison Nystrom is a much sought-after performer and teacher. As a singer, Nystrom is noted for her expressiveness and has performed across North America and Europe.

Her opera credits include Pamina in The Magic Flute, Diana in Orpheus in the Underworld, Clorinda in La Cenerentola, and the woodpecker and innkeeper’s wife in The Cunning Little Vixen.

Visit for more information. Tickets are available at

Abbotsford News Staff

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