Bach+ Consort

Bach+: St. John Passion

Join us at St. Anne’s Church on Friday, March 29th at 7 pm for a Good Friday evening service that features a complete performance of St. John’s Passion written by Johann Sebastian Bach for Good Friday of 1724, 300 years ago.

This presentation is part of the Bach+ Series, a collaboration of St. Anne’s Church and Live Arts Maryland, and commemorates the 300th Anniversary of this work.

J. Ernest Green, Artistic Director at Live Arts Maryland and Music Director at St. Anne’s Church will be conducting. This service will feature world-class soloists, the Annapolis Chamber Orchestra, and members of the Annapolis Chorale and St. Anne’s Choir. 

The Bach+ Series gratefully acknowledges the support of Chesapeake Crossroads ( for this presentation.

Artist Bios

Emily Casey

Soprano Emily Casey, hailed as a “red-haired vixen with a sparkling voice” by Opera Canada, commands stages in the US and abroad with her dramatic coloratura. Renowned for collaborations with opera companies worldwide, her vocal artistry and compelling dramatics have earned universal acclaim. This season brought about a series of role debuts including Konstanze (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Giulietta (I Capuleti e i Montecchi), and Michaëla (Carmen). Reviewed as a triple-threat to look out for, Casey also shines in musical theater and concert work. Recent highlights include Gianetta in Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Gondoliers, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with Richmond Symphony Orchestra and Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915, where critics praised her for her musical lyricism, poignancy and power. Explore her dynamic schedule at


Melanie Zayas Regan

Melanie Zayas Regan, mezzo-soprano, is a highly regarded instructor of voice in Western Maryland. She maintains a full voice studio at Saint James School where she is the Associate Director of Fine and Performing Arts. Her students have been accepted to some of the finest music schools in the nation including Indiana University, Peabody Conservatory, University of Michigan, Longy School of Music of Bard College, University of Houston, Berklee College of Music, NYU Steinhardt Program and many others.  She is an active director of musical theater including her most recent productions of Shrek the Musical, The Drowsy Chaperone, Matilda the Musical, Little Shop of Horrors, Mary Poppins, The Addams Family, Brigadoon, and host of operatic scenes programs.  

In addition to her teaching, Ms. Regan continues to have an active performance presence. In particular, Melanie is drawn to art song and oratorio repertoire. She has performed as the mezzo-soprano soloist with several organizations including, the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, Two Rivers Orchestra, the Maryland Choral Arts society, Hagerstown Choral Arts Society and Live Arts Maryland. She has been the mezzo soprano soloist for great works such as Bach Saint John Passion, Bach Saint Matthew Passion, Rossini Stabat Mater, Monteverdi Vespers, Mozart Mass in C, Bach Magnificat, Vivaldi Gloria, Mozart Requiem, Bach Mass in B minor, Messiah among others. In addition to performing on the oratorio stage, Melanie loves singing in recital with her husband Joseph Regan, Tenor. 

Melanie has worked with renowned singers such as Frederica Von Stade, Steven Rainbolt, Ruth Drucker, and John Shirley-Quirk.  Ms. Regan is a member of the National Association Teachers of Singing (NATS) and earned her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in Voice Performance from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University.


Joseph Regan

Joseph Regan is delighted to be singing with Live Arts Maryland again this season.  Mr. Regan is a highly sought after performer whose singing has taken him all over the Eastern Seaboard and parts of Europe.  Recent highlights from the opera stage include a turn as Azaël from Debussy’s L’Enfant Prodigue for Lyric Opera of Baltimore, Don José in Opus Concert Theater’s production of Carmen, and Pinkerton from Madame Butterfly with Loudon Lyric Opera.  Mr. Regan is frequently engaged as a tenor soloist.  He is particularly well known for his singing of Bach and Handel with numerous performances of Handel’s Messiah as well as Bach’s Passions and Cantatas to his credit.  Recent highlights include the regional premiere of the concert oratorio Barbara Allen with Shepherd University Masterworks and Gerald Finzi’s A Farewell to Arms with Live Arts Maryland. Mr. Regan also deeply enjoys singing art song, in particular French Mélodies.  This intimate and personal form allows him to more deeply explore the connection between text, music, emotional intent, and its impact on the listener.

He earned his BM and MM from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University and his DMA from University of Maryland, College Park.


Oliver Mercer

A specialist of the Baroque era, Tenor Oliver Mercer has enjoyed recent engagements with Clarion Music Society, Trinity Wall Street and The Thirteen, performing the works of Monteverdi, Handel and J.S. Bach.
Oliver has performed with Glyndebourne Opera Festival, Spoletto Festival USA, Opera Theater Company Ireland, Charleston Bach Festival, Savannah Philharmonic, Charleston Symphony, and Mid Wales Opera. He has appeared as a soloist at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Trinity Wall Street, the Barbican London, and the Royal Albert Hall.
Recent engagements include performances of Monteverdi’s Vespro della Beata Vergine, the role of Evangelist in J.S. Bach’s setting of the St. Matthew Passion and an international tour as a member of the Clarion Music Society in performances of Handel’s Solomon with the English Concert led by Harry Bicket.


Jeffrey Gates

Baritone Jeffrey Grayson Gates is a Texas native whose captivating, artful performances  have won the admiration of audiences and critics throughout the United States. He was hailed by The Baltimore Sun as having “vocal spark” as well as a “thundering presence” by  DC Metro Theater Arts for his performance as Don Giovanni at Lyric Opera Baltimore. Mr.  Gates was a Regional Finalist of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in both in Mid-West and Mid-Atlantic regions, a winner of the Vocal Arts DC Young Artists Competition, the Naftzger Young Artist Auditions, Outstanding Studio Artist at Central City  Opera, and the Stephen Dickson Encouragement Award. Mr. Gates received a Bachelor of  Music degree from Oklahoma City University, studying under Dr. William Nield Christensen, and a Graduate Performance Diploma from the Peabody Conservatory,  studying under William Sharp. He is currently studying under Baritone Stephen Powell. 

Among his widespread repertoire of operatic roles, performance highlights include: Don Giovanni, Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro, Germont, Baron Duphol, and Marchese  d’Obigny in La Traviata, Schaunard in La Boheme, Malatesta in Don Pasquale, Figaro in Il 

Barbiere di Siviglia, Harlequin in Ariadne auf Naxos, Angelotti and Sciarrone in Tosca, Happy  and Sid in La Fanciulla del West, Tarquinius in The Rape of Lucretia, Mr. Gedge in Albert  Herring, Frederic and Nilakantha in Lakme, Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance, Horace  Tabor in The Ballad of Baby Doe, Eisenstein and Falke in Die Fledermaus, Elder McLean in  Susannah, Count Homonay in The Gypsy Baron, Polonio and Primo Becchino in Amleto,  Rambaldo in La Rondine, Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress, Rev. Hale in The Crucible, and  Zaretsky in Eugene Onegin. He has performed as a young artist with Central City Opera, Des  Moines Metro Opera, Opera Saratoga, Kentucky Opera, and Light Opera Oklahoma. Mr.  Gates has been a member of the Washington National Opera Chorus since 2016. 

In addition to opera and musical theatre, Mr. Gates has extensive experience as a soloist on  the concert stage. His concert repertoire includes: Handel’s Messiah, Brahms’ Ein deutsches  Requiem, Mozart’s Requiem, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Bach’s St John Passion, Faure ‘s Requiem,  

Durufle ‘s Requiem, Haydn’s Nelson Mass and Mass in Time of War, Vaughan Williams’ Five  Mystical Songs, Dona Nobis Pacem, and Hodie, Dubois’ Seven Last Words of Christ, and  Schumann’s Szenen aus Goethes Faust. Mr. Gates has performed as a soloist with many  prestigious organizations throughout the United States, including: Richmond Symphony,  Charleston Symphony, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Susquehanna Symphony, York  Symphony, Oklahoma City University Symphony, McLean Youth Orchestra, Washington  Master Chorale, Annapolis Chorale, Live Arts Maryland, Harrisburg Choral Society, New  Jersey Master Chorale, Harford Choral Society, and Deer Creek Chorale. He also performed  a series of art song recitals with Vocal Arts DC, including a recital on the Millennium Stage  at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. 

Jeffrey Grayson Gates currently resides in Baltimore, MD with his wife, soprano Courtney  Kalbacker and their daughter Joanna. For more information, please visit


Spencer Adamson

Mr. Adamson’s recent performances include leading and comprimario roles in local  and national opera houses as well as many other classical music venues. In 2021,  Mr. Adamson debuted the role of Prince Charles in the U.S. premiere of the new  musical, Queen of the People’s Hearts. He reprised his role in its subsequent international debut in Istanbul, Turkey. Last summer, he made his role debut as  Giuseppe in The Gondoliers with the Young Victorian Theater Company. His recent  engagements include roles on two grand opera stages: The Lyric Opera House,  Baltimore, MD and The Kennedy Center Opera House, Washington, D.C. singing the  roles of Fiorello in LOB’s production of Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Doganiere in  Washington National Opera’s production of La Bohème, and as The Confederate Soldier WNO’s premiere of Philip Glass’ newly-written production of Appomattox.  Previous season highlights include the roles of Marquis d’Obigny in La Traviata with  Summer Garden Theater and Baltimore Concert Opera, Prince Yamadori in  Annapolis Opera’s production of Madama Butterfly, Marco in Opera Susquehanna’s  production of Gianni Schicchi, Timur in their concert production of Turandot, Tonio in Pagliacci, and Alfio in Cavalleria Rusticana with HUB Opera Ensemble. Upcoming  engagements include his role debut of Despard in YVTC’s production of Ruddigore this summer. 

Mr. Adamson holds a Bachelor’s degree in Voice Performance from Westminster Choir College, and graduate work at Indiana University, Bloomington.

Choral Evensong for the Commemoration of All Souls: Fauré Requiem

In keeping with the tradition of presenting timeless choral works within the liturgical context, Artistic Director J. Ernest Green, the Bach+ vocal consort, and members of St. Anne’s Choir and Annapolis Chorale Chamber Chorus present Gabriel Fauré’s immortal Requiem in the stunning sanctuary of St. Anne’s Church for the Feast of All Souls.

Candidates for the Cantorate

Music of Telemann, Graupner, and Bach

(Shaughn Dowd, flute, and Roger Cline, viola da gamba)

We are turning the clock back 300 years to 1722, the year in which Johann Kuhnau, the famous cantor of St. Thomas’ church in Leipzig, died, leaving the position vacant. Later that year, invitations were extended to leading musicians throughout Germany to apply for the job. On November 3rd, we’ll dig into some of the chamber music of the two top candidates for the position, Georg Philipp Telemann and Christoph Graupner.  Both had strong musical ties to the city of Leipzig having studied at the university there. We’ll also feature some music from the third candidate – one Johann Sebastian Bach – who ultimately took the job after the others withdrew their applications. 

This is a ‘pay what you can’ event and you do not need a ticket. All donations made at the door directly support the artists and programs of Live Arts Maryland.

The Biblical Sonatas of Johann Kuhnau

Larry Molinaro, harpsichord

On November 17th, we’ll take a look at the legacy of Kuhnau himself through his famous biblical sonatas for keyboard.  These six sonatas, published in 1700, were ground-breaking in that they used a wide variety of musical devices to portray action, emotions, and even psychological states.  The concert will include selections from The Fight between David and Goliath, Jacob’s Wedding, Hezekiah’s sickness and restoration, and Jacob’s Death and Burial.

This is a ‘pay what you can’ event and you do not need a ticket. All donations made at the door directly support the artists and programs of Live Arts Maryland.

The Phantom Of The Opera

Bach+, a partnership between Live Arts Maryland and St. Anne’s, goes live this month with its 2022-23 season.  Get your weekend off to an early start with some fantastic musical entertainment at St. Anne’s church on Thursday at 7:00 PM.  

First, as we have done for the past 20 years, on October 27th we’ll offer a screening of Lon Chaney’s immortal silent film classic The Phantom of the Opera with an improvised—and not always serious—score, played on St. Anne’s spectacular Freiburger organ.  The movie is a 1925 American silent horror film adaptation of Gaston Leroux’s 1910 novel Le Fantôme de l’Opéra, directed by Rupert Julian and starring Lon Chaney, Sr. in the title role of the deformed Phantom who haunts the Paris Opera House, causing murder and mayhem in an attempt to make the woman he loves a star. The movie remains most famous for Chaney’s ghastly, self-devised make-up, which was kept a studio secret until the film’s premiere.

This is a ‘pay what you can’ event and you do not need a ticket. All donations made at the door directly support the artists and programs of Live Arts Maryland.

Handel’s Messiah

Live Arts Maryland’s annual performances of “Messiah” are a beloved Annapolis holiday tradition! World-class soloists, the Chamber Orchestra, and, of course, the Annapolis Chorale, all come together in historic St. Anne’s Church for a powerful presentation of this iconic work. The audience even has the chance to join in for the Hallelujah Chorus and Carols of the Season. 

Handel’s “Messiah”

Live Arts Maryland’s annual performances of “Messiah” are a beloved Annapolis holiday tradition! World-class soloists, the Chamber Orchestra, and, of course, the Annapolis Chorale, all come together in historic St. Anne’s Church for a powerful presentation of this iconic work. The audience even has the chance to join in for the Hallelujah Chorus and Carols of the Season. 

Our presentation of this timeless work is family friendly and curated for audience members of all ages in mind. Seating for these performances is limited so order your tickets early!

Schütz – “St. Matthew Passion” *

This beautiful work predates Bach’s settings of the passions and, in many ways, is their direct predecessor.  Scored for a small vocal ensemble, this Passion performance will feature the Bach+ Vocal Consort and members of the Annapolis Chorale Chamber Chorus.  Artistic Director J. Ernest Green and Bach+ Director, Larry Molinaro will lead The “St. Matthew Passion.”

** This is a program change from the Bach “St. Matthew Passion” that was originally programmed for this spring.  Bach’s work will be rescheduled for later in the summer as the current COVID restrictions ease.

Lessons and Carols for Epiphany

Bach+ consort, J. Ernest Green, director

The Bach+ consort, under the direction of J. Ernest Green, will celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany with excerpts from both Handel’s Messiah and J. S. Bach’s monumental Christmas Oratorio. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio comprises six cantatas that intersperse the Gospel passages recounting the birth of Jesus, the visitation of the shepherd, and the adoration of the Magi, with poetic reflections on the narrative. It was first performed in 1734, beginning on Christmas Day and ending on Epiphany. It features some of Bach’s most colorful writing for soloists, chorus, and orchestra.  Handel’s Messiah, a perennial favorite, recounts the story of salvation across the three sections of the oratorio.  Excerpts from both will be combined to create a narrative that will follow a “lessons and carols” or “pageant” structure.

Click here to launch the video and download the program (PDF).