Handel’s Messiah Soloists


Soprano, Jennifer Grimaldi Toohey made her European debut as the soprano soloist in Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Charlemagne Orchestra in Brussels, under the direction of Bartholomeus-Henri Van de Velde.

Additional recent solo engagements for Ms. Grimaldi-Toohey include Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the Canturbury at Carnegie Hall, the Vier letzte Lieder of Richard Strauss at Symphony Space in NYC with the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Mineria National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico City,  Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Canterbury Chorale in NYC, Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder with the NY Repertory Orchestra, Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem with the Flint Symphony in Michigan, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Sheboygen Symphony in Wisconsin, and Britten’s War Requiem with the Queens College Choral Society.

A graduate of The Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, Ms. Grimaldi Toohey is the co-founder and co-owner of the Long Island Studio of Music, on the voice faculty at Queens College & serves as program director and voice teacher for the Queens Summer Vocal Institute. 


Christina Russo is Long Island-based mezzo-soprano whose journey has landed her in the classical crossover sphere. With a love for the operatic traditions of bel canto singing and the textual immediacy of American musical theater, she enjoys exploring many different styles of music. Christina has a dual passion for performing and teaching, and runs a thriving voice studio on Long Island, teaching various genres to clients of all ages. She holds a bachelor’s degree in voice performance from Hofstra University, a master’s degree in opera performance from Binghamton University, and a graduate certificate in vocology from Lamar University. She has received awards from the National Association of Teachers of Singing and the Metropolitan Opera National Council.


Alex Plotkin is the manager of eVoco Voice Collective. He received his Bachelor of Science in Vocal Performance from Hofstra University and still moonlights as a bari-tenor for various holidays and concerts on Long Island. A typical Virgo Sun, Alex loves organizing, labeling, and problem solving. When not working or performing, Alex enjoys studying astrology and tarot, watching horror movies, flowing on his yoga mat and spending time with his amazing husband Sam playing video and board games.


Praised for his “handsome, light tone” (New York Times) and “heroic” performances full of “emotional intensity” (Gramophone), bass-baritone Brian Mextorf is in demand as a recitalist, concert singer, and ensemble performer. Recent seasons have included performances as soloist in Brahms’ Ein Deutches Requiem in Washington, D.C., Mozart’s Requiem at Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall, Haydn’s Missa in tempore belli and Schubert’s Mass in G at Carnegie Hall, Messiah (“The Trumpet Shall Sound” and “Why Do The Nations”) with The Choir of Trinity Wall Street, and Raphael in Haydn’s Creation. A frequent collaborator with Brooklyn Art Song Society, recent recitals have included Barber’s Despite and Still, op. 41, Wolf’s Michelangelo-Lieder, selections from Eisler’s Hollywooder Liederbuch, and Jolivet’s Trois complaintes du soldat. Ensemble performances include a 2022 tour of South Korea with the American Soloist Ensemble, as well as appearances with the New York Philharmonic, New York City Ballet, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Grand Rapids Symphony, The Choir of Trinity Wall Street, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Musica Sacra, The Clarion Choir, and Sacred Music in a Sacred Space, among others. Other recent solo debuts have included Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater (Baron Duphol in La traviata) and National Sawdust (AIDS Quilt Songbook recital).