Sunday, July 7th, 2pm, St Lukes Church Barrabool Road, Highton
If you’re anywhere nearby, come along and enjoy yourself singing the choruses from Handel’s most popular choral work.
For bookings contact Anne Pilgrim
Cost $15 – includes music hire and afternoon tea.
And if Geelong is too far away… perhaps Port Fairy isn’t.
The 38th Annual Port Fairy Messiah will be at St John’s Anglican Church Port Fairy on Saturday December 28th at 7.30pm. Jeanette Hajncl will conduct the performance with orchestra, choir and professional soloists. Come along and sing. Bring your own score, or borrow one on the day.
This is very popular with holiday makers – especially those who sing in choirs.
Should one stand for the Hallelujia Chorus?
This tradition honours an story about the London premiere. It is said that the king (George II) stood when the chorus began. This prompted the audience to stand, as it was close to treason to stay seated if the monarch were standing. However, there is no evidence that this is so, and, indeed, it is doubtful whether the king was even in attendance.
So, please yourself. (As it’s at the end of a long second part, it may be an opportune time to stretch the legs.)
Messiah is not ‘set in concrete’.
In Handel’s time there were re-writings for each of the first 13 performances, changing solos to suit the singers, and instrumentation to suit the available forces. Handel wrote new solos for various performances to suit his soloists. Mozart re-orchestrated the work for much larger ensemble, this edition becoming the standard for many years. It is known that most of the solos were sung by various voices in Handel’s time. Bernstein, in a performance in Carnegie Hall, re-ordered the sections.
Without the aid of any of today’s technical short-cuts, and by daylight or lamp-light, Handel wrote the initial version in around 24 days. There are 259 pages in this score!
Why an ‘out of town’ debut?
Operas were losing their charm with London audiences, so Handel tried his luck with oratorio. The first of these was Esther, a private commission. In 1740 and 42 Handel did a season in Dublin at the request of the Duke of Devonshire. While Messiah was not part of this series, the work received its initial performance on April 12th, 1842, a charity performance, to an audience of 700 people. The choir was 32 men and boys, with some of the solo work taken by the men of this group, as well as three female soloists. The orchestra was strings, trumpets and timpani.
The first London performance was at Covent Garden on 23rd March, 1743.