Handel’s Messiah will be presented by CBS Music in St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, Manchester St., on Sunday, December 12, 2021, at 1.30 pm.
Soloists will be Sarah-Jane Rennie, Louisa Pilkington, Wally Enright, Ken Joblin and Chris Whelan. The Cathedral Orchestra will be led by Natalia M. Lomeiko, with continuo Janet Cubey and Michael Lawrence. 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 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.
At this year’s Christmas Midnight Mass, the CBS Choir and Orchestra will perform Haydn’s lovely Mariazellermesse within its original liturgical context. Although seldom heard in this country, it is widely performed and appreciated in Europe, and was written for a famous pilgrimage church in Haydn’s native Austria. 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, 11 December. Further concerts during the early months of 2022 are planned, but uncertainty over Covid restrictions is delaying a commitment to repertoire and dates at this time.
The annual Christchurch Choral Festival is planned for next August, and a major Viennese concert will be presented, as usual, around September. The CBS musical year will conclude with a performance of Weber’s Jubilee Mass in G 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. Sight reading ability is expected. Those interested should contact the musical director, Don Whelan, ph. 358 5873.