CLASSICAL music fans are in for a treat when the English Symphony Orchestra and Academia Musica Choir join forces to perform Handel’s Messiah at the Great Malvern Priory.
The concert starts at 7.30pm on Tuesday, December 14, featuring four soloists – April Fredrick (soprano), Charlotte Sleet (alto), Jon Weller (tenor) and Martin Robson (bass).
Handel’s Messiah is still to this day a firm fixture in the festive calendar and this year is no exception.
Due to changing audience tastes and attitudes towards Italian opera in London during the 1730s and 40s, Handel turned to the oratorio as a cheaper and more accessible alternative to opera.
As a genre the oratorio had a lot in common with opera but as it was not staged and the librettos were now performed in English, often using passages from the Old Testament, Handel opened up a new musical discourse which resonated with audiences in a direct but more familiar way.
Throughout his life Handel was a generous man who donated regularly to those less fortunate, and he donated some of the proceeds to local causes from the debut performance of the Messiah, which took place in Dublin in the Spring of 1742.
It might have only taken Handel just three weeks to compose but the lasting legacy and power of hearing his Messiah in person, almost 280 years after its first performance, is testament to his masterful setting of these sacred texts.
The event is guaranteed to leave the listener uplifted and ready for Christmas.
Visit eso.co.uk/14dec21-messiah/ for more.