Home Confederation Singers, Orchestra, and Guest Soloists Perform Handel’s ‘Messiah

Confederation Singers, Orchestra, and Guest Soloists Perform Handel’s ‘Messiah

-Sobeys LIVE @ the Centre presents seasonal classic December 1 in the Homburg-

On Sunday December 1 at 2:30 p.m., Sobeys LIVE @ the Centre celebrates one of the most enduring pieces of music in the Western choral cannon. The Confederation Singers, guest orchestra, and four featured soloists are set to perform Handel’s Messiah, the Baroque-era masterpiece that celebrates the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Messiah, an oratorio, is the most famous creation of German composer George Frederic Handel, and its performance still awes listeners more than 250 years after the composer’s death. Ludwig van Beethoven, citing Messiah, said Handel was the “greatest composer that ever lived.”

The concert is an annual tradition at Confederation Centre of the Arts, led by Choral Music Director Donald Fraser. Joining the centre’s adult choir, the Confederation Singers, this year are four guest vocalists, well known in the Canadian choral community.  The guest orchestra includes most members of popular Island ensemble, the Atlantic String Machine, who themselves released an album at the Centre’s Mack theatre this fall.

The soloists include: mezzo-soprano Hannah O’Donnell; soprano Christina Haldane, a professor with Dalhousie University’s School of Performing Arts and newcomer to the annual Island event; baritone Parker Clements; and tenor Michael van der Gaag. See addendum for additional details on each soloist.

The Confederation Singers include more than 60 members from across the community. The singers present a varied program of music throughout the year, performing seasonal concerts on local stages and at a variety of events. Other concerts include Choral Music on a Holy Day (April 10) and the popular holiday tradition Sing Along Messiah, Dec. 28 , at the Kirk of St. James, where the audience is invited to participate.

The show will be presented in the Homburg Theatre of Confederation Centre. Tickets are available at the door, at Confederation Centre’s box office, online at confederationcentre.com, or via phone at 902-566-1267 (toll free at 1-800-565-0278). The Choral Music Programme is sponsored by Maritime Electric.

Please note, that through Sunday evening on December 1, the Victorian Christmas Market is presented by Discover Charlottetown. Patrons are advised that. until 11 p.m. on December 1, the following streets will be closed to all traffic, with no parking permitted: Queen Street, between Grafton and Sydney; and Richmond Street, between Pownal and Great George.

Concertgoers should leave extra time, parking a few blocks away or nearby in one of Charlottetown’s parkades. People with mobility concerns will still be able to access the Queen Street elevator into the lobby level of Confederation Centre. Those patrons being dropped off will need to do so at the corner of Queen and Grafton.

Photos (top down): Guest soprano, Christina Haldane; guest baritone, Parker Clements at Messiah 2018: and members of the guest orchestra and Confederation Singers at the same event (Submitted photos).


  • Parker Clements carries a Master’s degree in Performance and Literature from London Ontario at the University of Western Ontario. A passionate young baritone from O’Leary, PEI, his recent travels have brought him as far as Lucca, Italy, where he sang the title role in Mozart’s Don Giovanni with L’Accademia Europea dell’Opera. Parker had the opportunity to play ‘Escamillo’ in Western University’s 2017 production of Bizet’s Carmen and has performed as Messiah’s featured baritone soloist with Confederation Centre several times.


  • Christina Raphaëlle Haldane enjoys an active career in the UK, Europe, Asia, and North America. She has sung principle roles for The Finnish National Opera, Royal Opera House, Scottish Opera and Musica Viva Hong Kong, as well as for festivals Iford Arts, Longborough, Swansea City and Buxton, in the UK. An accomplished concert performer, she has performed with many renowned orchestras, and is also a dedicated interpreter of song and chamber repertoire. This fall she released her debut album, Let Me Explain a collection of Canadian art songs, which was recorded at the Glenn Gould studio. Christina has an international profile as a vocal educator, having managed voice studios in London, UK and Toronto, Canada. She is on the voice faculty at two masterclass programs, BIIMA – Breno Italy International Music Academy and Musique sur mer en Acadie, NB. In 2019 she joined the Voice Faculty at Dalhousie’s Fountain School of Performing Arts. She is also a former member of the Confederation Centre Girls’ Choir.


  • Hannah O’Donnell’s recent opera credits include the title role in Menotti’s The Medium (St. John’s, NL), Ruggiero in Handel’s Alcina (Lucca, Italy), Marcellina in Mozart’s The of Marriage Figaro (Charlottetown, PEI) and two seasons with Opera RoadShow (St. John’s, NL). Hannah recently performed the premiere of Cantata for Canada 150, a commission with the PEI Symphony Orchestra, as well as with the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra as guest soloist for Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. Hannah is a member of the music faculty at the Holland College School of Performing Arts and teaches privately at her studio Middle Sea Music Lessons.


  • Michael van der Gaag has been part of countless choral experiences, including with the National Youth Choir of Canada, as well as in Vancouver as a member of musica intima. Michael has performed numerous times with the Confederation Singers, as their tenor soloist for Haydn’s Paukenmesse, Mozart’s Requiem, Dvorak’s Stabat Mater, Handel’s Messiah and Rossini’s Petit Messe Solennelle. An Island native, Michael currently lives in Halifax, singing with the Halifax Camerata Singers; is member of Helios Vocal Ensemble; and is member of The Canadian Chamber Choir, a Juno nominated ensemble.