Sydney Chamber Choir and City Recital Hall are staging Handel’s mighty Messiah just as the master wanted it, stripped of centuries of amplified orchestration and giant choirs, with exactly 24 handpicked singers and 20 early music instrumentalists. This Sydney Chamber Choir concert marks the Choir’s 45th anniversary.
The concert continues a charitable tradition begun by Handel who since 1749 regularly conducted his Messiah at London’s Foundling Hospital. It was bequeathed his original score and still stages the oratorio every year. The Sydney Chamber Choir concert is in partnership with the social enterprise Two Good, to provide interval dinners and, like Handel, support women and children in need.
“Handel’s Baroque masterpiece may never have gone out of fashion but it’s been edited, expanded and given many monumental, wall-of sound interpretations,” says Artistic Director Sam Allchurch.
“With the agility and expressive intimacy of Sydney Chamber Choir, it’s a joy to uncover the detail and accents of Handel’s dramatic narrative, his cascading melodies and rhythms, his poignant arias, his splendour and his fireworks.”
One of the best known and most performed choral works in Western music, Messiah features soloists Andrew Goodwin, Amy Moore, Stephanie Dillon and Andrew O’Connor, and Baroque instrumentalists from an expanded The Muffat Collective.
Sam Allchurch, 29, admits that while it’s a huge challenge to conduct Handel’s epic, playing or singing parts of Messiah goes back through generations of his family. While reading for his Masters at Cambridge, he learnt a few tips from English conductor Stephen Layton. “I learnt how to approach the work with fresh eyes – to look for moments when you could, when you must, make your own decisions. My task is to find that same exuberant freedom and sense of adventure with Messiah that this Choir brings to all our work.”
The three-hour concert incudes two intervals, including a 40 minute break for dinner which can be ordered online.
Tickets From $50 – $75 (concessions from $30)/ Booking Fees Internet $6.95, Phone $8.50
Bookings/Dinner Package www.cityrecitalhall.com/whatson/events/handels-messiah/ or 8256 2222