Soloists Announced for Bluffton University’s 128th ‘Messiah’ Performance

Written by on December 2, 2022

BLUFFTON, Ohio—Bluffton University’s music department has announced the soloists for its 128th performance of Handel’s “Messiah,” at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11, in Yoder Recital Hall.

Soloists are Misook Yun, soprano; Elizabeth Frey, mezzo-soprano; Brian Skoog, tenor; and Max Pivik, bass.

Lyric soprano Misook Yun has been praised as a singer of “exquisite clarity” and “virtuosity.” She has performed in Italy, Austria, Hungary, South Korea and the U.S. An accomplished operatic performer, Yun has appeared in the roles of Mimi from “La Boheme,” Cio Cio San from from “Madame Butterfly” and Nedda from “Pagliacci,” among others. She has performed with companies including Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, Tucson Symphony Orchestra and Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. Yun won the audience choice award at the Classical Singer Convention in May 2010 in New York City. In the summer of 2004, she was one of 12 National Association of Teachers of Singing interns chosen throughout North America. Recently she participated OperaWorks’ Artist Teacher Training program. Yun is a professor at the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University. 

Elizabeth Frey, mezzo soprano, has been lauded by critics as an “achingly sensitive singer” with a “warm, shimmering voice.” She recently made her Dayton Opera debut as Mercedes in Bizet’s “Carmen,” and with the Dayton Philharmonic as the alto soloist in Handel’s “Messiah.” She also recently joined Utah Festival Opera in their productions of “Madama Butterfly” and “The Pirates of Penzance.” She was chosen to be a young artist in residence with the Des Moines Metro Opera Young Artist Program and the Dayton Opera Young Artist Program, among others. Frey completed her master’s degree and artist diploma certificate at the Cleveland Institute of Music and is active in the opera community of Cleveland. This season, Frey is joining the Lyric Opera of Chicago in their productions of “Don Carlos” and “Carmen.”

Tenor Brian Skoog is known for his “vocal power.” His 2022-23 season includes performances as Jake in Aucoin’s “Second Nature,” Lurcanio in Handel’s “Ariodante,” and Mozart in Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Mozart and Salieri.” Skoog is an active performer of oratorio and concert work across the United States and has appeared as a repeat soloist with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, performing Handel’s “Messiah” as well as music by Bach and Beethoven. A frequent guest of Toledo Opera, he recently made his debut with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra. A champion of new music, Skoog was the tenor soloist for the world premiere of Margaret Brouwer’s environmental oratorio “Voice of the Lake.” Skoog earned his Bachelor of Music from the University of Alabama and his Master of Music and post-graduate certificate from the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Acclaimed for his “extraordinary, pure and resonant voice,” baritone Max Pivik has been called “a joy to experience.” A native of Pittsburgh, Pivik has appeared in productions throughout Ohio and western Pennsylvania. Pivik’s favorite roles to date are Marcelo from Puccini’s “La Boheme,” Giorgio Germont, from Verdi’s “La Traviata” and Dr. Malatesta from Donizetti’s “Don Pasquale.” He has been seen on the stages of companies such as Opera Western Reserve, The Cleveland Opera, Valley Lyric Opera and Cleveland Opera Theater. As a soloist, Pivik has performed Handel’s “Messiah” each year with various organizations for more than a decade. He has previously served as the director of educational outreach and programming for Opera Western Reserve and as the associate music director and choral conductor at Trinity United Methodist Church, both in Youngstown, Ohio.

Dr. Bo Young Kang, director of choral activities, will conduct the oratorio.

The Bluffton Choral Society including students, faculty, staff and community members will accompany with an orchestra.

While tickets are free, space must be reserved at:

The event will also be streamed live at:

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