Messiah In Harrogate

Date: Saturday 07th December 2013 19:30

Venue: Royal Hall, Harrogate

When Handel completed it in 1741 he could not have known that it was destined to become the most frequently performed piece of music in the western world. The phenomenal speed with which it was produced (three weeks from start to finish) make it all the more remarkable even if we take account of the fact that some of the choruses were re-workings of previously composed duets. But even though he was aware that he had written a very special piece of music, his words on it&s completion being”I did think I did see all Heaven before me, and the great God Himself”, it seems improbable that even Handel would have predicted over two and a half centuries of undiminished popularity.

An important difference between Messiah and Handel’s other oratorios is the libretto. Arguably the best libretto he ever set, it breaks the oratorio tradition by having no overt characterisation whatsoever and very little narrative. It is a compilation by Jennens (though some scholars detect Handel’s own hand also) of Old and New Testament scriptures pertaining to the prophecy and birth of Jesus; his suffering, crucifixion and resurrection; the commissioning of his disciples; the second coming and the resurrection of the dead. It is in effect a series of contemplations on the Christian idea of redemption.

TICKETS: £17, £20, £22 (concs available)


Box office:01423 502 116Book onlineIn person:Royal Hall,Ripon Road,Harrogate, North Yorkshire – United Kingdom