Handel’s Messiah sing-along at St. George’s

What would the Christmas Season be without a performance of Handel’s Messiah?

What would the Christmas Season be without a performance of Handel’s Messiah?

This year, the North Island Choral Society invites everyone to join them in a Sing-Along-Messiah on Dec. 15 at 1:30 p.m in St. George’s United Church at Fitzgerald and Sixth in Courtenay.

The soloists are all well known to Comox Valley audiences: Megan Skidmore, soprano; Lisa Deith, contralto; David Brown, tenor and Chris Bellamy, bass.

Admission is by donation and the proceeds will go to charity.

George Frideric Handel (1685 – 1759) was born into a non-musical family. Much of his training was in Halle and Hamburg, Germany. He lived in Italy before moving to England in 1712.

Handel became a naturalized Brit, becoming somewhat like the Andrew Lloyd-Webber of his day, although he was much more than a popular music composer.

He composed the Messiah in 24 days in 1741. The first performance was in Dublin in April 1742. It was also a charity concert.

A reporter for the Dublin News-Letter attending a rehearsal described the oratorio as “…far surpassing anything of that Nature which has been performed in this or any other Kingdom.”

The result of the good press was a sold-out audience of 700. To make room in the hall, gentlemen were asked to take off their swords and ladies to remove their hoops.

Clearly, this is not a request of today, although gentlemen might want to take off their caps!

The performance in Dublin earned unanimous praise from the press: “Words are wanting to express the exquisite delight it afforded to the admiring and crouded Audience.”

The warm reception at Dublin was not repeated at the first performance in London in 1743.

The revival of the work at Covent Garden in 1749 was the start of the huge popularity with audiences. The profound meaning of the work continues to this day.

An almost-blind Handel last heard the oratorio at Covent Garden on April 6, 1759, eight days before his death. Surely, he must have known the power of his music and the scriptural text taken from The Bible, The Psalms and the Anglican Book of Common Prayer.

While the Messiah has been performed with huge instrumental ensembles, never anticipated by the composer, our Comox Valley presentation will mirror, in many ways, what Handel intended.

Handel originally wrote Messiah for a modest number of vocalists and instrumentalists. North Island Choral Society conductor, Paul Colthorpe and accompanist, Elvera Penner with the soloists and the choir will guide the audience through.

The timing of this afternoon concert should suit everyone. So bring your voices, your score if you have one, and have a real good sing.

For more information, see northislandchoral.wordpress.com.

— North Island Choral Society

Just Posted

WATCH: Teams gather in Comox for VEX competition

More than 40 teams across Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland gathered… Continue reading

Dementia village planned for Comox hospital

Providence Health takes ownership of St. Joseph’s April 1

Vehicle crashes into ground floor of Comox retirement building Saturday

A driver narrowly avoided injury to herself or others as her vehicle… Continue reading

Comox Valley libraries have plenty to offer during Family Literacy Week

Colleen Nelson Special to The Record Do you have a young reader… Continue reading

Strong winds up to 100 km/h for parts of Vancouver Island

Wind warning in effect for north, east and west Vancouver Island into Saturday morning

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

Comox Valley libraries have plenty to offer during Family Literacy Week

Colleen Nelson Special to The Record Do you have a young reader… Continue reading

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

Most Read