Saturday 7 December 2024, 7:30 pm
Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford
The Oxford Bach Choir opens its new season with a performance of perhaps the most popular and well loved oratorio of them all, Handel’s Messiah, which was first heard in Dublin in 1742. It is, however, an unusual work. Handel’s other oratorios tend to be dramatic, almost like unstaged operas, with singers taking named roles. In Messiah, however, Handel’s librettist, Charles Jennens, produced a carefully-chosen selection of prophetic texts from the Old Testament which hint at and meditate on the story of Christ from his birth through his death to his resurrection and ascension.
Handel was clearly inspired by this remarkable libretto, for he composed Messiah in a mere 24 days. He matched the words with his finest music, in which soloists and choir take the listener from excited expectation through deep sorrow to a final jubilation. The OBC now invites you to experience the magic and the majesty of this work, whether it comes to you as a familiar friend, or a new discovery.
Conductor: Benjamin Nicholas
Soloist: Daisy Bevan (s),
Anita Monserrat (a),
Sebastian Hill (t),
James Geidt (b)
Orchestra: London Mozart Players