Handel's Messiah

Lisa Jablow, Conductor
Vermont Philharmonic Chorus

December 6, 2019, Friday, 7:30 pm
St. Augustine Church, 16 Barre Street, Montpelier

December 8, 2019, Sunday, 2:00 pm
Barre Opera House

Tickets: $20 / $15 Seniors / $5 Student

Williston native Helen Lyons holds a BA in Music from Wellesley College and Artist Diplomas from the Royal Academy of Music in London, and College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. She has performed in Germany with the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Mainz Staatstheater, and Landestheater Coburg, as well as in the US, China, and the Philippines.  

Helen has sung as a soloist with orchestras all over the world, including the Philippine Philharmonic, Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, Thüringen Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and Henderson Symphony Orchestra. Roles include: Chrysothemis (Elektra), Mme. Lidoine (Les Dialogues des Carmelites), Elisabeth (Don Carlos), Turandot, Iphigénie (Iphigénie en Tauride), Tosca, Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte), Contessa (Le nozze di Figaro), First Lady (Die Zauberflöte), Governess (Turn of the Screw), Lady Billows (Albert Herring), Irene/Mary (Jerry Springer: The Opera), and Mme. de Volanges (Dangerous Liaisons).  

Locally, Helen sang the role of Cio-Cio San in BARN Opera’s debut production of Madama Butterfly in 2018, and will sing the role of the Mother in Amahl & the Night Visitors with BARN Opera in December 2019, and Tosca in 2020. She has also performed with Burlington’s First Night, The Vermont Mozart Festival, Vermont Virtuosi, and the Middlebury Song Fest. Helen teaches private classical voice lessons at her South Burlington studio, and enjoys working with students of all ages and levels. She is the weekday morning host on VPR Classical. 

Helen lives in Ferrisburgh with her husband and two retired racing greyhounds, and has something in common with Weird Al Yankovic: she recently lost on Jeopardy!

Andrew Darling, countertenor, is in frequent demand for his vocal artistry in a variety of styles including classical, musical theater, gospel, and jazz. In June 2017, Darling had the honor of performing in the Si parla si canta Italian Opera mentoring program in Urbania, Italy. He was a featured soloist with Kathleen Battle in her Underground Railroad concert at the Metropolitan Opera and was the 2012 winner of the Emerging Artists Vocal Competition in Reno, Nevada. As guest soloist, he has performed with the Vermont Philharmonic and performed with the New York Community Chorus

Darling received his B.A. in Music from New Jersey City University and completed the Graduate Performance Diploma Program at Montclair State University. Darling believes his artistry is truly in tune with the Divine.

George Johnson, III, tenor, is a native of Hampton, Virginia. He performed his debut role as Kenneth Gibson in Trilogy: An Opera Company’s production of The Three Mayors and has since appeared in several choral and operatic performances throughout the east coast. As a member of Trilogy, George has performed the role of Andy in Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha. George has also been featured as the tenor soloist in Haydn’s The Passion. George is a recent graduate of Westminster Choir College where he studied voice with Christopher Arneson.

Following Westminster, George helped premiere the Mile Long Opera: A Biography of 7 o’clock. He sang as a soloist for 3 on Three presents: Black Men who Sing. He had the honor of singing in masterclasses for Frank Daykin, Fauré Song, and George Shirley, African American Art Song. Recently, George was a featured soloist for the R. Nathaniel Dett festival at Westminster Choir College.

Tim Wilfong, baritone, has been captivating audiences across the United States and Canada with his clear, warm tone and talent for bringing words to life on stage. He has performed with Opera McGill. the Friends of the Performing Arts in Concord, MA, at the James Library and Center for the Arts, Norwell, MA, and at New England Conservatory in Boston. An avid performer of Baroque music, Wilfong has sung with La Compagnie Baroque Mont-Royal (Montréal), Cappella Clausura (Boston, MA), McGill’s Early Music Ensemble, and with the NEC Early Music Society. Wilfong has premiered many contemporary works and introduced the revised version of Dreams and Echoes by Kathryn Salfelder in 2015. He also collaborated as the poet for a song cycle by Michael Glicksman.  

A native of Colorado, Tim holds a Bachelor of Music with Academic Honors from New England Conservatory and a Master of Music in Performance at the Schulich School of Music from McGill University.