Susquehanna Valley Chorale Presents Hayden's "Creation"

Live Music

October 20, 2018

7:30 PM

Zion Lutheran Church

The Susquehanna Valley Chorale will present Haydn’s Creation on Saturday, October 20 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, October 21 at 3 p.m. at Zion Lutheran Church in Sunbury.


The Creation is the culmination of Joseph Haydn’s long and productive career. Profound and playful, the piece blends elements of Handel’s baroque oratorios with the newer, classical style for which Haydn is well-known.

The performance will feature soloists Alyssa Ronco, Lucas Levy and Brian Mextorf, among others.



Tickets for the performance are $20 for adults and $8 for students. Youth 12 and under are free.

Tickets can be purchased online at, by calling 570-547-0455, or at the door.

Co-sponsors for the performance include Northumberland National Bank and Tom and Anne Gates. Underwriters are Sam and Nancy Craig, Lynne Gale/Al Watson matching gift program, Domenick and Judy Ronco, Marv and Raven Rudnitsky and David Wilson.


About the Piece: The Creation
Haydn spent almost thirty years writing more than 90 symphonies, 14 operas, and scores of chamber works for Prince Nicholas. In 1779, the Prince allowed Haydn to publish his compositions and over the next decade his music became known and admired throughout Europe.

In 1791, Haydn attended the Handel Festival in Westminster Abbey, a series of concerts including Messiah, Israel in Egypt, excerpts from other oratorios, and shorter works with an orchestra and chorus of more than a thousand performers. The sound produced by that mighty array, the majesty of the Abbey–Handel’s burial place–and the sight of the king and queen standing with their subjects for the Hallelujah Chorus stirred Haydn to his depths.

During his second English visit in 1794-5, he obtained a libretto based on the biblical account of the creation which, he was told, had been offered to Handel. After the score was complete, van Swieten edited the English text to conform to Haydn’s music. The first performance, in April 1798, was by invitation only at the Schwarzenberg Palace. It was a triumph. The success of the first public performance–at Vienna’s renowned Burgtheater–was even more spectacular. Haydn was called to the stage repeatedly, and cheered as he had never been before.

The Creation enjoyed continuing popularity in Vienna. It was performed there nearly 40 times between 1799 and Haydn’s death in 1809. 

About the Featured Soloists
Alyssa Ronco

Soprano Alyssa N. Ronco, a native of Mifflinburg, holds her Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, where she was awarded a Dean’s Merit Scholarship, and her Master of Music Degree from Manhattan School of Music.

She was featured as the soprano soloist in Poulenc’s Gloria with the SVC, and in 2010, she was the soprano soloist in the “Alzheimer’s Stories” concert. On Easter Sunday, 2011, she made her Carnegie Hall Debut under the baton of Mr. John Rutter, singing the soprano solos in Rutter’s Gloria and the soprano solos in Monteverdi’s Gloria.

Brian Mextorf

Baritone Brian Mextorf is a native of Williamsport and is an alumnus of The Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Westminster Choir College.


An audience favorite, SVC patrons will remember Brian as the soloist for the SVC’s sold out Voices of Light performance in 2017; he also returned this past March for Brahm's Requiem.


The 2018-19 season includes a role debut singing Raphael in Creation, a recital with the Brooklyn Art Song Society singing Barber’s Despite and Still, op. 41, a return to the bass solos in Mozart’s Requiem, and performances with the New York Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Sacred Music in a Sacred Space, and Musica Viva NY.


Lucas Levy

The SVC welcomes a new soloist, Lucas Levy, for this special performance. Lucas received his Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin Conservatory, and his Master of Music degree from Westminster Choir College.

Praised by The Wall Street Journal for being “remarkably loud,” American tenor Lucas Levy is gaining recognition for his “suave and dark” voice (La Scena Musicale), and for being “a joy to watch” (Broadway World). His 2017-2018 season included his debut at Opera Omaha as Dr. Caius in Falstaff, and a return to St. Petersburg Opera as Gastone in La Traviata and Marcellus Washburn in The Music Man.

No stranger to the concert stage, Levy has performed as a soloist with varied orchestras and ensembles for such seminal works as Handel’s Messiah, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and Mozart’s Requiem.

SVC Hayden






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