Monday, April 13, 2020

STAFF PICKS: Choral Music with T.J. Callahan

T.J. Callahan is Seattle Opera's Programs Communications Coordinator. At Seattle Opera, he writes and edits content for the Programs and Partnerships department and helps with general operations. You might recognize him from events at the Opera Center and in Tagney Jones Hall.

Outside of the 9-to-5, T.J. is a freelance choral singer and early music vocalist. While staying home, he's been busy recording himself for "virtual choir" projects (listen to a podcast about the ones composer Eric Whitacre has been doing since 2010) and studying up for Zoom voice lessons.

Here's the music on his playlist this week:

  • The Helsinki Chamber Choir's recording of Rautavaara's excellent All-Night Vigil, featuring Finnish basso profundo Tuuka Haapaniemi

  • Albums by local favorites: Tudor Choir's extensive feature of Shaker music arranged by pioneering Shaker scholar Kevin Siegfried, and Byrd Ensemble's Music for the Tudors, featuring Sheppard's mammoth Media Vita

  • Songs of Orpheus, the Grammy-winning album by Apollo's Fire and transcendent tenor Karim Sulayman. Get excited for the documentary about Jeannette Sorrell and the ensemble!

  • It's Easter, so check out a video of rising-star countertenor Reginald Mobley performing "O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion" from Handel's Messiah. (Fun Fact: it was written for Easter, not Christmas!)

In addition, he's reading Anna Beer's 2016 book Sounds and Sweet Airs, which profiles eight lesser-known women of classical music from the 17th to 20th centuries. On his list for later is Andrew Gant's history of English church music, O Sing Unto the Lord.

He reminds you to continue supporting local service employees and business when you can using the City of Seattle's handy map, and stay safe!