Handel’s 'Messiah' is heard around the world during the Christmas season, being greatly appreciated, admired and enjoyed. City Choir Dunedin, accompanied by the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra and conducted by David Burchell, is pleased to perform this oratorio. The acclaimed soloists are: Rebecca Ryan (soprano), Claire Barton (alto), Oliver Sewell (tenor), and Paul Whelan (bass).
Many concerts and other events had to be cancelled since COVID-19 restrictions came into force, leaving music-lovers yearning for live performances. But, Hallelujah!, the Dunedin public can embrace this opportunity to experience a world-class delivery of the dramatic and passionate 'Messiah'.
We fully expect that this performance of 'Messiah' on Tuesday 7 December in the Town Hall will be able to proceed, albeit with greatly reduced seating capacity as required for social distancing. General admission tickets are sold via Ticketmaster online, at the Regent Theatre box office and at the Town Hall box office on the night. To avoid disappointment we urge the public to buy their tickets in advance.
Handel began composing 'Messiah' on August 22, 1741, and completed it twenty-four days later. The scholar Clifford Bartlett writes, “But, however hasty the composition, the power of the musical imagination, the wealth of ideas, the depth of inspiration, and the sheer variety of invention continue to astonish.”
'Messiah' is unique among Handel's oratorios in its New Testament subject and reflective treatment. It has been described as a 'collection' taken from the Bible and the Prayer Book Psalter, and is a mixture of narrative and commentary. This freed Handel from some of the more restrictive opera conventions and permitted greater use of the chorus than is generally the case in his other oratorios. 'Messiah' is Handel's most famous work and its ubiquity has outreached anything Handel could ever have envisaged.