Handel’s Messiah will be presented by CBS Music in St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, Manchester St., on Sunday, December 6, 2020, at 1.30 pm.
Soloists will be Helen Charlton, Louisa Pilkington, Adrian Lowe, Wally Enright, Ken Joblin and Chris Whelan. The Cathedral Orchestra will be led by Natalia M. Lomeiko, with continuo by Rebecca Bendre and Veronica van der Knaap. Don Whelan will direct. Admission is by programme donation of $20 and $15, available at the door.
This annual performance has continued to attract a substantial audience. Messiah proved a popular choice on the group’s first four European tours, and its concerts throughout the Americas. While awaiting decisions on a future Cathedral building. the spacious and resonant Catholic Pro-Cathedral, Manchester St, is proving an excellent concert venue and temporary home for the regular cathedral music programme. The adjacent CBS Music Centre provides a substantial second auditorium, with very good acoustics and dedicated lighting, used for rehearsals and chamber music concerts.
This year’s Christmas Midnight Mass will honour the Beethoven anniversary year with a presentation of his Mass in C Major, performed within its original liturgical context. The preceding vigil, beginning at 10.30 pm, will contain the usual congregational carols.
Next year, CBS Music continues its popular Lunch Plus Wednesday At One recital series, the Bach St John Passion at 8 pm on Good Friday, and another Christmas Messiah at 1.30 pm on Sunday, 12 December. The usual Lenten concert, in February, will include Bach’s great solo cantata Ich Habe Genung, with international bass Paul Whelan, and Haydn’s Lamentatione Symphony. The Diocesan Feast Day of St John The Baptist in June will be celebrated by a first Christchurch performance of Bach’s St John Cantata: Freue Dich (Be Joyful, Ransomed Flock) and his popular Magnificat.
The annual Christchurch Choral Festival is planned for next August, and a major Viennese concert will be presented, as usual, during September. The CBS musical year will conclude with a performance of his Haydn’s Mariazellermesse at next year’s Christmas Midnight Mass.
New members are welcome to join the cathedral choir, which rehearses on Wednesday evenings at 7.30 pm in the CBS Music Centre. Scholarships are available to students, together with leader/soloist positions. Sight reading ability is expected. Those interested should contact the musical director, Don Whelan,
ph. 358 5873.