Handel’s “Messiah”
Onassis Cultural Centre |

“Handel is the greatest composer that ever lived.”
Ludwig van Beethoven

In July 1741, Charles Jennens, an English nobleman of a literary and artistic bent, sent a new libretto for an oratorio (an extended musical composition sung to the accompaniment of a full orchestra) to his close friend G. F. Handel. In a letter about the venture, he wrote: “I hope [Handel] will lay out his whole Genius and Skill upon it, that the Composition may excell all his former Compositions, as the Subject excells every other Subject. The Subject is Messiah”.
The Messiah oratorio was completed in record time in just 24 days! It was premiered with great success in Dublin on 13 April 1742, with the editor of theDublin News-Letter, who attended the public rehearsal, describing the work as “…far surpass[ing] anything of that Nature which has been performed in this or any other Kingdom!”. The historic premiere was attended by an audience of 700 who packed Dublin’s Great Music Hall to the rafters. In an attempt to squeeze as many people in as possible, the theatre management asked the gentlemen to kindly remove their swords and the ladies not to wear hoops in their dresses! The Messiah subsequently enjoyed a successful revival in London’s Covent Garden in 1749, ensuring the work’s immortality as perhaps the most popular choral work of all time.
Based on texts from the Old and New Testament, the oratorio is divided into three parts. The first deals with preparations for the Coming of the Messiah and with his birth; the second—which culminates in the exhilarating Hallelujah chorus which condenses the Glory of God into music—with the passion of Christ, his death and resurrection; the third with the divine promise of salvation, the Second Coming and victory over death and sin.
The Camerata on period instruments now enjoys a privileged place in the international Handel discography, and has earned triumphant reviews for its interpretations of the great composer’s works.


George Frideric Handel
Messiah, ΗWV 56
A three-part oratorio
Intermission between 1st and 2nd part

Ηelene Le Corre: soprano
Irini Karagianni: mezzo-soprano
Jason Darnell: tenor
Petros Magoulas: bass

The Athens Mixed Municipal Choir
Choir Conductor: Stavros Beris

2011, December 20 @ 20:30

Main Stage


107-109 Syngrou Avenue, 11745 Athens, Greece
Information/Tickets: 210 900 5 800,
Administration: 213 0 178000


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