Handel’s Messiah by Instruments of Time and Truth at University Church of St Mary the Virgin is a highlight of Oxford’s musical calendar.
Don’t miss this chance to hear the quintessential Christmas work in the expert hands of the city’s own period-instrument orchestra and world-renowned conductor, Edward Higginbottom.
Rowan Pierce – Soprano
Alexander Chance – Countertenor
Daniel Norman – Tenor
James Geidt – Bass
Oxford Consort of Voices
Edward Higginbottom – Conductor
Please see important ticketing information below.
Prices: From £10.00 to £35.00
Duration: 150 minutes with an interval
Doors open: 5.00pm
If you require a wheelchair space or accessible seating for this event, please call 01865 305 305 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further assistance.
Instruments of Time and Truth is Oxford’s own period instrument orchestra, presenting world-class performances of Baroque and Classical music in Oxford and around the UK.
Handel’s Messiah is probably the most performed choral work in history, and, despite being about the whole of Jesus’ life, it is now mainly performed at Christmas.
Messiah was originally an Easter offering and premiered in Dublin on 13 April 1742. The first part prophesied the birth of Jesus Christ, the second exalted his sacrifice for humankind, and the final section heralded his Resurrection.
Messiah’s success in Dublin was soon quickly repeated in London when it was performed for the first time in London a year later at the Covent Garden Theatre. It took time for Messiah to find its niche as a Christmas favourite, but now, of course, Handel’s Messiah is a fixture of the Christmas season.
Handel composed Messiah in an astounding interlude – between three and four weeks in August and September 1741. Whilst some think it was divine inspiration, he was actually just really good at writing quickly. He composed operas of a similar length during the short times between theatrical seasons.
The original version of Messiah is lost, as Handel edited and re-worked the music in the years following the premiere. And to create work for as many players as possible extra parts were written for more instruments.
PS: The tradition of standing for the Hallelujah chorus was begun by King George II at the London premiere – and when the King stands, so does everybody else.