Some of Ballarat’s finest voices will team up with members of Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and MSO Chorus to perform the traditional Christmas choral masterpiece Handel’s Messiah.
The Ballarat Choral Society will join with musicians and singers from Melbourne to perform Messiah at Loreto College’s Mary’s Mount Centre on December 8.
Despite Messiah being strongly tied to the festive season, MSO chorus master Warren Trevelyan-Jones said the piece was actually written for Easter.
“It really is iconic and associated with Christmas, although it was originally written for the Easter period. Handel wrote it in 1742 in an astonishing 24 days,” he said. “It tells the story of Christ’s prophesy from birth through to the story of resurrection and ascension.”
Although some performances of Messiah highlight the drama of the piece, Mr Trevelyan-Jones said the Ballarat performance on December 8 would be one with a certain amount of restraint, “carefully composed as a whole so the story makes a lot of sense”.
The MSO and MSO Chorus will travel to Ballarat on Saturday for a full rehearsal with Ballarat Choral Society members during the afternoon before the 5pm concert, and Mr Trevelyan-Jones will hold a rehearsal with the choral society this week.
“The MSO Chorus doesn’t tour very often so this is an opportunity for me to get out and work with other choral societies which is very interesting,” he said.
“It’s not common for singers from different choirs to meet and get together. The MSO Chorus do the Messiah every year so most of the singers will have performed it dozens of times before, but a lot of local singers because of a lack of resources don’t often get a chance to perform such a major work.”
The performance of Messiah is part of the MSO’s regional touring program.
“The regional touring program is really important to the MSO. Resources and culture are so easily focussed on capital cities so it is very important to get outside of that cocoon … to give people the opportunity to learn from the MSO, work with the MSO and to expose that wider culture,” Mr Trevelyan-Jones said.
The performance will feature 30 members of the MSO Chorus, the Ballarat Choral Society, and a modest size orchestra.
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