Charlotte Master Chorale to present Handel's "Messiah"

Accompanied by the North Carolina Baroque Orchestra, the performance will feature visiting soloists from New York City along with the voices of the Charlotte Master Chorale.

George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah” is an oratorio in English, composed in 1741 and first performed in Dublin in April 1742. Its libretto is drawn from the King James Bible and from the Psalms from the Book of Common Prayer.

George_Frideric_Handel_1.jpg“Messiah’s” Dublin premiere was followed by a premiere in London, and by the early 1800s, performance of the Messiah was already a Christmas tradition though the work was originally intended as an Easter performance. Today it is one of the most well-known, beloved, and frequently performed choral works from the Western tradition.

Or as Artistic Director Dr. Kenney Potter notes, “Everyone loves Handel’s Messiah.”

Potter is excited to bring this beloved master work to life in a style that is historically informed. “It will be performed using a style and timbres that are more faithful to what Handel intended,” he explained. “Working with the North Carolina Baroque Orchestra and singing with an 18th century style, in contrast to its being performed in a heavier 19th or 20th century style.”

Listeners can expect to hear a true Baroque style, which is light and transparent, as Baroque music is based on dance. The listener will also notice choral singing with less vibrato and more stylistic ornamentation, such as the trills that are a wonderful hallmark of Baroque era music.

Potter also carefully selected soloists who are Baroque specialists, further heightening the historically-informed experience. Awet Andemicael, often hailed for her “quick, clean, silvery” coloratura will join the performances as soprano soloist. Baritone Jesse Blumberg also will solo, bringing a background in Renaissance and Baroque styles. Countertenor Timothy Parsons is well known as a soloist and ensemble singer in New York City and is currently a member of the Trinity Wall Street Choir. David Venderwal will be featured as tenor soloist, an artist in high demand for his clarion lyric vocal qualities.

The mission of the Charlotte Master Chorale is not only to present choral music in a fresh, exciting way but also to focus on deeply engaging the audience. For the performing arts, today the bar is higher than ever. “Audience members have many choices as to how to spend their leisure time, including staying at home where they have so many entertainment options at their fingertips,” Potter acknowledged. “They have high expectations when it comes to a sensory experience. We are going to work hard to create an engaging and collaborative experience that exceeds their expectations.”

The Charlotte Master Chorale will present Handel’s "Messiah" at First United Methodist Church Charlotte on Friday, December 7th at 7:30 pm and on Saturday, December 8th at 7:30 pm. General admission is $35.00. Student tickets are $15.00 at the door with a valid student ID.

The Charlotte Master Chorale will present Handel’s Messiah at First Baptist Church, located at 2650 Union Road in Gastonia at 4:00 pm on Sunday, December 9th. This performance has been generously underwritten to allow a reduction in individual prices. General admission is $25.00. Student tickets are $15.00 at the door with a valid student ID.

FIrst United Methodist Church Charlotte Handel Messiah North Carolina Baroque Orchestra baroque First Baptist Church of Gastonia

Bob Stickler

Kenney Potter

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