Fans of classical music will be delighted at the performance of Handel’s Messiah at the priory of Great Malvern

CLASSIC music fans will be in for a treat when the English Symphony Orchestra and the Academia Musica Choir join forces to perform Handel’s Messiah at the Great Malvern Priory.

The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 14, with four soloists – April Fredrick (soprano), Charlotte Sleet (viola), Jon Weller (tenor) and Martin Robson (bass).

Handel’s Messiah is still a staple of the holiday calendar to this day and this year is no exception.

Due to changes in public tastes and attitudes towards Italian opera in London during the 1730s and 1940s, Handel turned to oratorio as a cheaper and more accessible alternative to opera.

As a genre, oratorio had a lot in common with opera, but since it was not staged and the libretto was now performed in English, often using passages from the Old Testament, Handel opened a new musical discourse that resonated with audiences in a direct but more familiar way.

Throughout his life Handel was a generous man who made regular donations to the less fortunate, and he donated part of the proceeds to local causes from the first performance of the Messiah, which took place in Dublin in the spring. 1742.

It may only have taken Handel three weeks to compose, but the lasting legacy and power to hear his Messiah in person, nearly 280 years after his first performance, testify to his mastery of these sacred texts.

The event is guaranteed to leave the listener excited and ready for Christmas.

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