Messiah Press





December 5-20, 2014

SEATTLE, WA (October 8, 2014) – Following last holiday season’s wildly successful staging of Handel’s timeless masterpiece, The Inverse Opera is encoring its intimate production of Messiah featuring new performances by Seattle theatre veterans and more than doubling its performance schedule to accommodate last year’s sell-out crowds.  “If you love Messiah, you will love this production,” raved the Wanderlust Blog of last year’s show. “If you’ve heard it dozens of times, it will be a new experience, and if you’ve never heard it before, now is the time to do so.”


The Inverse Opera’s Messiah features a cast of 12 singers, led by four of Seattle’s most talented vocalists: soprano Shelly Traverse (SecondStory Rep, Oberlin Opera Theatre, Central City Opera), alto Hayley Gaarde (Gilbert and Sullivan Society, Puget Sound Concert Opera, Spokane Opera Company), tenor Ben Sasnett (5th Avenue Theatre, Coeur D’Alene Summer Theater, The Majestic Theater) and bass Eric Jenson (Village Theatre, 5th Avenue Theatre, Wooden O), and is Directed and Music Directed by Robert Scherzer. The Inverse Opera’s Messiah will perform at the Isaac Studio at Taproot Theatre December 5-20, 2014.  Tickets ($25-$30; $20 Groups of 10+) go on sale October 20th and will be available at


Ordinarily, the mention of Messiah evokes the image of an opulent spectacle performed in a cavernous music hall by hundreds of anonymous musicians and vocalists.  However, buried beneath the beautifully intricate wall of sound is a storyline filled with actual characters who hold opinions, both jubilant and cynical, question and learn from themselves and each other, and ultimately are changed by the experience.


Robert Scherzer, who directed last year’s production and returns to direct and music direct, guides the performers to excavate this holiday behemoth in an effort to open up the text and allow the audience a more intimate understanding of the work.  Singers will be off-book and dressed in street clothes, and the production will include simple staging and lighting to help aid the story.


“Messiah is ubiquitous,” says Scherzer. “It’s been performed everywhere for hundreds of years. Our production seeks to avoid getting consumed by enormity and routine; we are looking to express the wealth of spirituality and humanity in the story of the Messiah through simplicity.”


Joining soloists Traverse, Gaarde, Sasnett, and Jensen are ensemble members Julia Beers, Ashley Biehl, Jenny Cross, Andrew Eric Davison, Justin Johns, Bianca Raso, Michael Scott and Robert Wilson. Dan Cole will design lights for the production.


Messiah was composed in 1741 by George Frideric Handel and has since become one of the most popular choral works, guiding the listener through the tales of Christ from prophesies to resurrection. For some, hearing the Messiah gives cause for worship. For others, it offers familiar warmth, much like hot cocoa and mistletoe.


THE INVERSE OPERA creates and presents musical performances exploring the unique storytelling aspects of the classically trained voice. The Inverse Opera takes pride in offering experiences, from formal productions in theatrical settings to dressed-down casual affairs in bars. In addition to independent productions, The Inverse Opera has enjoyed collaborations with ACT Theatre, Seattle Dance Project, SecondStory Repertory, Opera on Tap, Taproot Theatre Company, CityClub, and several other organizations, ensembles and



WHAT: The Inverse Opera is encoring last holiday season’s smash hit staged concert of Handel’s Messiah.  An intimate look at this perennial masterpiece, The Inverse Opera has assembled a remarkably talented cast of twelve artists to explore the individual stories woven inside this holiday behemoth.  Directed and Music Directed by Robert Scherzer.


WHEN: December 5-20, 2014

8pm Fri-Sat, Dec 5-6

2pm Thurs, Dec 11

2pm & 8pm Sat, Dec 13

8pm Fri, Dec 19

2pm & 8pm Sat, Dec 20


WHERE:  The Isaac Studio at Taproot Theatre, 208 N. 85th St. Seattle, WA 98103


TICKETS: Tickets ($25-$30) go on sale October 20th.  Purchase online at


Tickets for patrons ages 25 & under and seniors are $25.  $20 tickets are available for parties of 10 or more.