Handel’s sacred oratorio Messiah is a cornerstone of classical music that belongs to everyone regardless of cultural or musical backgrounds. Although it was written for Eastertide, it has become the premier Christmas masterpiece for choirs and orchestras worldwide. Its Hallelujah Chorus is the signature holiday choral work.
If experiencing Messiah is not already a family tradition, you can make it so in December when the Virginia Symphony conducted by JoAnn Falletta and Robert Shoup with the Virginia Symphony Chorus and guest soloists perform the venerated work in four concerts: Thursday, December 4, 8 p.m., Harrison Opera House, Norfolk; Sunday, December 7, 2:30 p.m., Ferguson Center, Newport News; Wednesday, December 10, 8 p.m., St. Bede Catholic Church, Williamsburg (conducted by Robert Shoup); and Saturday, December 20, 8 p.m., Regent University, Virginia Beach.
On stage with the Symphony and Chorus will be tenor Matthew Garrett, baritone Nmon Ford, soprano Aundi Marie Moore and mezzo soprano Jeniece Golbourne. Aundi Marie Moore is from Hampton Roads and is a graduate of the Governor’s Magnet School for the Arts.
Messiah is a meditation on the idea of “the anointed one” and is based on both Jewish and Christian texts. It was written two centuries ago by George Frideric Handel in only 24 days and fuses traditions of Italian opera, English anthem, German passion and Handel’s personal faith. It has been sung in a multitude of languages and settings including on a snowy winter night in Europe during World War II on a prisoner of war train when Hallelujah chorus was sung together by prisoners in English and their German guards in German.
Tickets range from $24 to $66. For additional information and to purchase tickets, call the Symphony Box Office, 757-892-6366 or visit the Virginia Symphony website or call Ticket Master at 757-671-8100. Group rates are available.