Orlando Chamber Choir
London Baroque Sinfonia
Lucy Goddard, director
Elinor Rolfe Johnson, soprano
Jessica Gillingwater, mezzo-soprano
David de Winter, tenor
Gareth Brynmor John, baritone
Paul Plummer, keyboard continuo
With this year’s “Hallelujah” news that choral singing is once more within reach came the realisation that Orlando Chamber Choir has never before performed the most famous “Hallelujah” of all time – the one in Handel’s Messiah.
When, in the 1730s, public taste for Italian opera faded, Handel forged a new musical format. His oratorios scrap superfluous staging and nefarious narratives to focus on solid Bible texts in plain English translation. The choir moves centre-stage to share the storytelling with the soloists.
The Messiah, which paints the life and death of Christ in a myriad musical colours, is Handel’s sixth and most successful oratorio. After its triumphant premiere in 1742, the work grew ever more popular. It grew more populous too as, over the centuries, increasingly large-scale performances involved hundreds, then thousands of musicians.
Orlando Chamber Choir bucks this trend and reverts to more modest forces to present a fresh, lively and historically informed account of the Messiah. We are proud to be joined by four prize-winning soloists and a superb professional period band.
Book now – we expect standing room only for Orlando Chamber Choir’s first “Hallelujah”!