Handel needed a change of fortune in 1740: his most recent opera had flopped, and he turned back to the world of oratorio. Messiah was his sixth of the genre, and caused great controversy by bringing a cathedral choir to join his “club of fiddlers” for the premiere; but with this work he hit gold.
Handel’s epic oratorio depicting the birth, life and death of Christ and the eventual triumph of good over evil has held a special place in the Western choral concert calendar since its first performance in Dublin in 1742, and with good reason. Some of the greatest dramatic scenes ever depicted in music are related by soloists, orchestra and choir through profoundly beautiful arias and thrilling choruses, none more famous than the ‘Hallelujah!’.
Join us to hear it performed on the instruments Handel intended. Messiah will be conducted by Barnaby Smith in London and Cambridge, and we’re delighted to announce our first collaboration with conductor Owen Rees and the Queen’s College Choir in Oxford.
Let us sweep you through the festive season with a smile on your face and a tune or three on your lips.
5 star review of 2018’s Messiah with VCM Foundation Choirs:
“With the Academy of Ancient Music providing fiery orchestral colour, this Messiah rocked along with breathtaking fervour, but left space for contemplation… This first Messiah of the season was a winner.” THE OBSERVER