Bass soloist to assist with Messiah fundraising efforts as goodwill ambassador
Chicago, Illinois – November 25, 2014 – Grammy Award winner and international opera star Mark S. Doss is returning to Chicago as the bass soloist in Handel’s Do-It-Yourself Messiah. Celebrating its 39th annual performance, Messiah will take place on Sunday, December 21, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. and Monday, December 22, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. at the Harris Theater in Millennium Park.
“It is my great honor to once again perform Handel’s masterpiece in Chicago. I am immensely proud to be working with the Do-It-Yourself Messiah and its organizers, the International Music Foundation (IMF), whose tireless efforts have transformed the annual performance into a cherished Chicago holiday tradition that touches the hearts and minds of so many people,” said Mark S. Doss. “Year-after-year, the Do-It-Yourself Messiah is a perfect way to celebrate the Christmas season. I look forward to sharing the stage in front of a huge chorus-audience, both with other world-class soloists, as well as an incredibly talented orchestra of local and amateur musicians.”
Doss will also serve as a Messiah goodwill ambassador to assist the IMF with fundraising efforts to support the annual production. Starting in November, he will meet with organizations in Chicago’s performing arts community to discuss ways they can support the Do-It-Yourself Messiah, as well as seek new opportunities to work with the event’s organizers in the coming years. Those interested in scheduling a meeting with Mr. Doss may send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ann Murray, Executive Director for the IMF, is equally excited about Doss becoming a goodwill representative for the Do-It-Yourself Messiah.
“Mark is the ideal candidate for this undertaking,” Murray said. “He has become a great favorite with the audience over the past 10 years, and brings a level of commitment to Messiah‘s ongoing success that never ceases to amaze me. He has always gone the extra mile to help build visibility and profile for the event.”
Murray continued, “Mark’s willingness to take up the cause aligns with the spirit of the Do-It-Yourself Messiah – a joyful experience that generates great energy, excitement, goodwill, and community participation. It is an aspect of city life during the holiday season that makes Chicago a special place, and shows why the event’s reputation has spread throughout the country.”
A celebrated bass-baritone, Doss has delighted Chicago audiences with his performances for more than a quarter century. After studying at Indiana University with Walter Cassel and Nicola Rossi-Lemeni, and serving as an apprentice with the Santa Fe Opera, he became a member of what was then known as Chicago’s Lyric Opera Center for American Artists. Since then, he has performed in 10 seasons at Lyric, most notably singing the roles of Hercules in Alceste, Cinque in Amistad, and Escamillo in Carmen. Doss has also performed with the Chicago Symphony in the title role of Anthony Davis’ opera X (The Life and Times of Malcolm X), and with the Grant Park Concerts (today known as the Grant Park Music Festival). In addition, Doss is proud to be a past Grand Prize Winner of the Bel Canto Foundation of Chicago, headed by the Monastero family. The prize included a trip to Busseto, Italy, where he studied with noted Verdi tenor, Carlo Bergonzi. While an unexpected cover contract with the Metropolitan Opera shortened his stay in Busetto, the Bel Canto Foundation was able to fund his return to Busseto to compete in the International Verdi Competition, where he subsequently won 1st Prize.
In recent years, Doss’ performances and storied career have earned him significant media attention. This has included TV appearances on ABC, NBC, FOX, CBC’s George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight and Toronto News at Six, Rogers TV, and OMNI, as well as an array of print and radio interviews.
Tickets for the Do-It-Yourself Messiah are available at www.harristheaterchicago.org or by calling 312-334-7777.
ABOUT THE DO-IT-YOURSELF MESSIAH:
Originally intended as an Easter oratorio, Handel’s Messiah tells the story of Jesus’ birth, crucifixion and resurrection. Over the years, however, it has become more popularly associated with Christmas. The “do-it-yourself” idea was born at a small church in rural England more than 40 years ago and was first staged in Chicago in 1976. Audience members are seated according to voice range (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) and sing with a full orchestra and four soloists.
The Do-It-Yourself Messiah is organized by the International Music Foundation (http://www.imfchicago.org), which provides music performances and music education – free of charge – for people of all ages and degrees of musical awareness, so they might experience how music enriches their lives.