Handel’s Messiah – Sing in the Mountains
Phoenix Choir joined with a chorus of guest singers to perform Handel’s Messiah on Sunday 9 April (Palm Sunday) 2017. In the tradition of Messiah we assembled a large choir of over 80 choristers. The performance included professional soloists and chamber orchestra with both harpsichord and organ continuo. The performance at the Blue Mountains Theatre at Springwood was highly successful with near capacity audience of 400, who thoroughly enjoyed the rendition of this famous work by Handel.
Messiah developed after Handel’s original presentation to encompass many different and much-loved performance traditions. Our Musical Director, Rowen Fox, researched the modern understanding of the original work. His presentation featured a countertenor from Sydney Conservatorium of Music and some original solo and duet arias, while maintaining all the choruses and arias we know and love.
Whilst it may be less usual today to perform the work in the lead-up to Easter, Handel originally composed Messiah for Passiontide. The core of the work in Part 2 deals with the events of Lent, Easter and Pentecost, and some of the most poignant moments surrounding the crucifixion and resurrection contrast exquisitely with the joyful Christmas music and triumphant Hallelujah chorus. A Palm Sunday performance restored the work to its original place in the calendar echoing its first performance at the Great Music Hall in Dublin in April 1742.