Choir to perform seasonal favourite

By Tim Clarke 19/04 Updated: 24/04 16:46

Buy photos » Worcester Cathedral Chamber Choir (s)

WORCESTER Cathedral Chamber Choir will give a rousing post-Easter performance of a work more traditionally associated with Christmas tomorrow (Saturday) night.

The choir will perform Handel’s Messiah in Worcester Cathedral at a time when people are finishing the last of their chocolate eggs, rather than wrapping up festive gifts.

The work may be as traditional a part of Christmas as turkey and carols for many but, as the choir’s musical director Stephen Shellard explains, Handel created it for Lent.

“It was premiered on April 13, 1742, the Tuesday before Easter, in a small theatre in Dublin and did not become part of the Christmas season until the 19th Century, particularly in America,” he said.

Only a small part of the work celebrates the birth of Christ with most of it concerned with his death, his resurrection and its implications.

“So, in terms of number of minutes devoted to each section, Messiah is more of an Easter piece than a Christmas piece,” he added. “If Handel had intended it for Christmas, he wouldn’t have planned its debut for Easter.”

The choir has about 30 singers and the accompanying Worcester Chamber Orchestra will feature only one instrument per part. Soloists are choir members Tim Cox and Sheila Davies with guests Sebastian Field and Wilhelmina Theunissen.

The evening begins at 7.30pm and tickets are £15 (£12 student concessions) and are available from www.worcestercathedralchamberchoir.co.uk, on 07549 634068 or on the door.

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