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Celebrate the Holiday Season with Handel’s ‘Messiah’

Early Music Vancouver’s Baroque orchestra and the Vancouver Chamber Choir collaborate for their first joint performance of the masterpiece.

Early Music Vancouver 29 Nov 2023The Tyee

Written by the composer in just 24 days, Handel’s Messiah has been performed around the world for centuries.

In Canada alone, Messiah performances date back to St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Halifax in 1789. The triumphant “Hallelujah Chorus” is so recognizable and beloved, it is now synonymous with the season at large.

This winter, Early Music Vancouver and the Vancouver Chamber Choir celebrate the festive season with the highly anticipated return of Handel’s Messiah on Dec. 8 at Vancouver’s historic Orpheum theatre.

EMV’s in-house orchestra, the Pacific Baroque Orchestra and the Vancouver Chamber Choir's rendition of the historic work offers an intimate, baroque styling of the seasonal favourite, reminiscent of the period instruments and display of virtuosity with which Handel would have been acquainted.

Led by celebrated conductor Alexander Weimann, the performance features an orchestra of 21 period instrumentalists, a chorus of 24 chamber vocalists and four international soloists fluent in baroque style.

Soprano Sherezade Panthaki, alto Allyson McHardy, tenor Nicholas Scott and bass Jonathon Adams all will perform from memory, transporting audiences to the concert halls of 18th-century England and illuminating the transcendent legacy of this universal treasure.

“Beyond its exquisite composition, Handel’s Messiah is a beloved holiday tradition revered around the world for its unique ability to transcend boundaries of faith, religion and language,” says EMV’s artistic and executive director Suzie LeBlanc.

“It speaks to the heart of seasonal proclamations of goodwill towards others and peace on Earth — something our world is in desperate need of,” adds LeBlanc.

“With each restaging of the masterpiece, there are new revelations for the audience — a gift that serves as the perfect preparation for the warmth and reflection of the season.”

Get tickets to Handel's Messiah on Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m. on the Early Music Vancouver website.  [Tyee]

Read more: Music

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