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Friday, December 8, 2023

08dec7:30 pm10:00 pmHandel's Messiah Event Organized ByEarly Music VancouverVancouver Chamber ChoirEvent Type Music7:30 pm - 10:00 pm Orpheum Theatre, 601 Smithe St, Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6B 3L4

Baroque specialists Early Music Vancouver partner with Vancouver Chamber Choir for their first joint performance of Handel's Messiah, featuring Canadian and international soloists.

Event Details

Early Music Vancouver (EMV) and the Vancouver Chamber Choir celebrate the festive season with the highly anticipated return of Handel’s Messiah on December 8 at 7:30 p.m. at The Orpheum.

EMV’s in-house orchestra, the Pacific Baroque Orchestra (PBO), and the Vancouver Chamber Choir will delight audiences in this glorious masterwork led by celebrated conductor Alexander Weimann. They are joined by four internationally acclaimed soloists: soprano Sherezade Panthaki, alto Allyson McHardy, tenor Nicholas Scott, and bass Jonathon Adams – each of whom will perform from memory, thereby enhancing the story-telling side of this glorious work.

“We’re thrilled to co-present Handel’s Messiah with the Vancouver Chamber Choir in one of Vancouver’s most celebrated concert halls,” says EMV’s Artistic & Executive Director Suzie LeBlanc. “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. It speaks to the heart of seasonal proclamations of goodwill towards others and peace on earth – something our world is in desperate need of currently.”

EMV and the Vancouver Chamber Choir’s rendition of Handel’s Messiah 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. Featuring an orchestra of 21 period instrumentalists, a chorus of 24 chamber vocalists, and four international soloists specializing in baroque ornamentation performance practice, audiences will be transported to the concert halls of 18th-century England, further illuminating the transcendent legacy of this universal treasure.

“Handel’s Messiah is a beautifully balanced work – the orchestra, soloists and choir all have their moments in the sun. Besides the iconic ‘Hallelujah’ chorus, the Messiah contains a great many catchy, foot tap and smile-inducing choruses in addition to the more sombre, stately choruses. Handel knew how to write for voices, and singing this work is a great delight,” says Kari Turunen, Artistic Director of the Vancouver Chamber Choir, who will join in to sing in the tenor section of the Chamber Choir in this production.

Written by the composer in just 24 days, Handel’s Messiah has been performed worldwide for centuries. In Canada alone, Messiah performances date back to St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Halifax in 1789 – evidence of the timeless resonance of this work! The triumphant “Hallelujah Chorus” is so recognizable and beloved it is now synonymous with this work and with the season at large.

The unique narrative of Messiah is a universal exploration of the sacredness and fragility of the human experience, as depicted by the life and legacy of Christ” 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.”