The Creation

Franz Joseph Haydn:

The Creation*

Building on the tradition of presenting choral masterworks (including Brahms' Requiem and Beethoven's 9th), ETSO welcomes Texas soloists and chorus members to perform Franz Joesph Haydn's moving depiction of the world without form, the first dawn and the creation of man based on the book of Genesis.

* Denotes first performance by ETSO

Did you know...?

All of our soloists hail from the Lone Star state, including soprano and Tylerite Sylvia D'Eramo!

Not up to speed on your German? Don't worry, Gottfried van Sweitan's libretto for The Creation will be sung in English!

In parts I and II depicting the creation, the soloists represent the archangels Raphael (bass), Uriel (tenor) and Gabriel (soprano). In part III, the bass and soprano represent Adam and Eve.

Artist Bios
Sylvia D'Eramo, soprano

In the 2018/2019 season,  Sylvia D’Eramo, “the very promising soprano” (Opera News), will be joining the Benenson Young Artist Program at Palm Beach Opera where she will be performing in the Rising Stars Concert and as Adele in the family performance of Die Fledermaus. She will also be covering the role of Zerlina in Don Giovanni. In the 2017/18 season, Sylvia made her debut with the Santa Fe Opera as an Apprentice Singer performing the role of Cugina in Madama Butterfly. She appeared as Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte with Yale Opera. On the concert stage, Sylvia was the soprano soloist in Verdi’s Requiem with the Marvin Concert Series in her home state of Texas, and as the soprano soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Yale Philharmonia under the baton of Maestro Marin Alsop.

In the 2016/2017 season, Sylvia sang the role of Abigail Williams on Albany Record’s recording of The Crucible by Robert Ward. She sang the role of Fiordiligi in Yale Opera’s production of Così fan tutte, and sang the role of Mimì in a concert version of La bohème with the New Haven Chamber Orchestra. She was a winner in the Lois Alba Aria Competition and won an encouragement award from the Career Bridges Foundation. Sylvia is a graduate of the Yale School of Music.

Stephen Morscheck, bass

Bass-baritone Stephen Morscheck is widely respected for the dignity he brings in concert and opera performances. “Stephen Morscheck's Leporello was genuinely funny, as well as solidly sung. His catalogue aria was almost too effective, drawing applause before its conclusion,” says Opera News of a recent Don Giovanni performance. Of Bach’s St..Matthew Passion, the Chicago Classical Review said Stephen Morscheck, brought an authoritative bass-baritone to Jesus, singing with dignified strength and expressive restraint. Even while sitting silently for long periods, Morscheck communicated an apt calm and peace.

In the 2010-2011 season, he performs Capulet in Roméo et Juliette at the Dallas Opera, Jesus in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion at Festival de Saint-Denis and at St. Vincent de Paul at DePaul University, Handel’s Messiah with the Santa Fe Symphony, Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy and Symphony No. 9 with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Roanoke Symphony and the Alabama Symphony, and Mozart’s Requiem with the Sheboygan Symphony.

In the 2009-2010 season, engagements included Sparafucile in Rigoletto at the Florentine Opera, Don Alphonso in Cosi Fan Tutte with Arizona Opera, Il Ré in Ariodante at the Princeton Festival, Kecal in Smetana’s Prodaná nevešta (The Bartered Bride) in Czech at the University of North Texas, Mozart’s Requiem with Music of the Baroque, Handel’s Messiah with the Dallas Bach Society, Mozart’s Coronation Mass at the Spoleto Festival, Verdi’s Requiem with the University of North Texas, Beethoven's Missa Solemnis with the Choral Society of Durham, and Bach’s B Minor Mass with the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica in San Jose.

In the 2008-2009 season, performances included Rocco in Fidelio at Opera Company of Philadelphia, Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figaro with Dallas Opera, Alidoro in La Cenerentola with Orlando Opera, Beethoven’s 9th Symphonywith the National Symphony Orchestra in Santo Domingo, the title role inHercules with Music of the Baroque, and Le Chiffonnier in Louise in a return to the Spoleto Festival USA, where he previously performed John Adams inAmistad during the summer 2008.

In the 2007-2008 Season, engagements included Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with L’Opera de Montreal, Leporello in Don Giovanni with Opera Carolina, Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro with Atlanta Opera, St. Matthew Passion with the L’Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor with Arizona Opera, Handel’s Messiah with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Duke Chapel Choir, and soloist in the Atlanta Operagala. Engagements from the 2006-2007 Season include Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with the Atlanta Opera, Nourabad in Les Pêcheurs de Perles with Kentucky Opera, St. John Passion with the L’Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Mozart Requiem with the Eastern Connecticut Symphony, VerdiRequiem with the Anchorage Symphony, Missa Solemnis with the Milwaukee Symphony, Dvorak’s Stabat Materwith the Berkshire Choral Festival, and Simon in Judas Maccabeus and King Arthur with Music of the Baroque in Chicago.

Additional noted engagements include Rocco in Fidelio with Florentine Opera of Milwaukee, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor with Washington Opera, Publius in La Clemenza di Tito with Santa Fe Opera, Palemon in Thaïs with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Colline in La Bohème with Los Angeles, Dallas Opera and L’Opera de Montreal, Don Alphonso in Cosi Fan Tutte and Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Kentucky Opera, and Alidoro in La Cenerentolawith the Lyric Opera of Kansas City and Florentine Opera.

Mr. Morscheck has also been active in recitals and oratorios. Among his repertoire are Mozart's Requiem and Mass in C Minor, Bach's B Minor Mass, Magnificat, and St. Matthew Passion, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Mendelsshon’s Elijah, Handel’s Messiah and Judas Maccabaeus, Rossini'sStabat Mater, Haydn’s The Seasons and Teresian Mass, Mahler’s Eighth Symphony, Philip Glass’ The Civil Wars at Carnegie Hall and in a recording with Jessye Norman, George Crumb's Songs, Drones, and Refrains of Death, and Kurt Weill’s Der Lindbergflugh.

Stephen Morscheck graduated from Wheaton College and completed advanced degrees from the University of Michigan. In 1995, he was awarded the “Richard Tucker Career Grant.”

Randall Umstead, tenor

Randall Umstead, tenor, has performed widely in both operatic roles and in concert music. He has performed the title role in Britten's Albert Herring, the Doctor in Dominick Argento's The Voyage of Edgar Allan Poe, the Lecturer in Argento's one-man monodrama A Water Bird Talk, as well as Lurcanio in Handel's Ariodante, all at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. He was twice a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center. During his first fellowship, he performed multiple roles in Ravel's L'Enfant et les Sortilèges with conductor Robert Spano. He also was selected to participate in the Tanglewood Bach Institute, directed by Craig Smith. During his second fellowship, he returned to Tanglewood to appear as the title character in Stravinsky's Mavra, under the direction of James Levine. Opera News has referred to his singing as, "impressive ...with exemplary diction and a strong, bright sound." The Hartford Courant proclaimed, “Lyric tenor Randall Umstead...stole the show. His voice has colors beyond his age, and acting enhanced his fit with this character."

In a concert setting, Mr. Umstead has sung the role of the Evangelist in Bach's St. John Passion and St. Matthew Passion, as well as in the Bach/Handel/Kaiser St. Mark Passion (1747) with Bach Society Houston. Other highlights include an appearance with bass-baritone Simon Estes, soprano Bronwen Forbay, and the Johannesburg Festival Orchestra as a soloist in Haydn's Creation at the National Arts Festival of South Africa. Mr. Umstead has an extensive concert repertoire, including Bach’s Mass in B minor, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 and Mass in C, Carissimi's Jepthe, Handel's Messiah and Dixit Dominus, Monteverdi's Vespro della Beata Vergine, Mozart's Mass in C minor and Requiem, Haydn's Missa in tempora belli, Rossini's Stabat Mater, Orff’s Carmina Burana, and Vaughan Williams' The Shepherds of the Delectable Mountains. He has performed as a soloist with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Flagstaff Symphony, Colorado Bach Ensemble, Dallas Bach Society, Cincinnati Baroque Orchestra, Catacoustic Consort, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, the Kwazulu-Natal (South Africa) Philharmonic Orchestra, the Irving Symphony, the Valley Symphony Orchestra, and the Bach Society of Dayton.

Mr. Umstead was as a quarter finalist in the 2010 International Vocal Competition's Hertogenbosch, a member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions, and in 2008 was a finalist in the American Bach Society's 5th Biennial Vocal Competition. Randall is active as a recitalist and has taught masterclasses throughout the United States and in South Africa.

Mr. Umstead holds the Charles W. Evans Chair in Voice at Baylor University, where he currently serves as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Director of the Division of Vocal Studies, and as an Associate Professor of Voice. He holds both the Doctor of Musical Arts and the Master of Music degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where he was as a student of Barbara Honn, as well as the Bachelor of Music degree in voice from Oklahoma Baptist University. Randall’s students have been winners, finalists and semifinalists in both chapter and regional NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) student auditions, and in 2009 he was selected for the NATS Intern Program. He also serves as Governor for the Texoma Region of the NATS, after having previously served as Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter President and Texoma Region Treasurer-Registrar.

Dr. Eric Posada, Chorus Director

Dr. Eric Posada was appointed TJC choral director in 2017. He leads TJC’s choral groups, including the Chamber Singers and Concert Choir, and serves as a professor in the TJC music department.

Prior to joining TJC, Posada lived in Bryan-College Station, where he served as assistant director of choral activities at Texas A&M University, artistic director/conductor of the Brazos Valley Chorale, and director of music at Saint Joseph Catholic Church.

A native of McAllen, TX, Posada recently founded the Rio Grande Valley’s first professional chorus, Pasión, and serves as the ensemble’s artistic director.

Throughout his career, Posada has collaborated with esteemed colleagues and ensembles across the world. Most recently, he conducted Pasión in the concert world premiere and recording of composer Michael John Trotta’s “Light Shines in the Darkness.” The performance will be released on iTunes and distributed under the Naxos label later this year.

While at Texas A&M, Dr. Posada’s choruses performed at Carnegie Hall and toured across Germany and Canada. Noteworthy collaborations during this tenure included projects with the acclaimed Nordic Choir and composers Ola Gjeilo and Shawn Kirchner.

He also taught choir at public schools in Lewisville and Brownsville, and his ensembles received numerous sweepstakes awards and Best in Class trophies. He remains active as a clinician and adjudicator across the state. As a church musician, Posada has served in liturgical settings for the past 11 years. In 2010, the Texas Choral Directors Association (TCDA) awarded him the Abbott-IPCO Professional Scholarship.

In 2017, Chorus America awarded Posada with a conducting fellowship to attend their summer conducting academy at California State University, Fullerton. Additional conducting has included engagements in France, with the Brazos Valley Symphony, the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) Region XV Treble Choir, and at the TCDA Convention during the summer of 2012.

Posada earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in choral conducting from Texas Tech University, his Master of Music degree from Sam Houston State University, and his Bachelor of Music degree from Texas Tech.

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