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Performance by the Choir of Handel's Messiah available online

16 December 2021

Handel's Messiah lies at the very heart of Christmas musical festivities. The oratorio follows Christ's life from the prophecies of the Old Testament through to his birth, passion and resurrection, and the final conquest of sin with the promise of eternal life. Handel uses his consummate skill as an opera composer to inject vivid colour and intense drama into his score. First heard in 1741, it remains just as popular today as it did in Dublin nearly 300 years ago. Arias of mesmerising beauty and triumphant courage sit alongside virtuoso choruses of stunning power - including the famous 'Hallelujah Chorus'.

On 3 December 2021, the Choir of The Queen’s College performed Messiah in collaboration the world-famous Academy of Ancient Music, a combination of the finest choral singing and an orchestra with a worldwide reputation for excellence in baroque and classical music. 

The performance will premiere online at 7 pm on Thursday 16 December:

Choir Director Prof Owen Rees said: ''It was a wonderful opportunity for our students in the choir to be able to present Handel’s masterpiece in the glorious and appropriate setting of the Sheldonian Theatre, where Handel himself performed, and to collaborate once again with one of the world’s finest period-instrument orchestras, the Academy of Ancient Music, and with a superb line-up of soloists including Queen’s Old Member Esther Brazil.'

Choir member Lucy Barker said: 'There was a vibrant and vivid atmosphere during the concert. Before the entry of each movement, I felt that the connection between conductor, orchestra, choir, and soloists was filled with such excitement and zeal, while also retaining an anchored sense of togetherness. It was a high-spirited and enjoyable experience, and being able to perform such a vibrant piece, in front of such an enthusiastic audience, in such a beautiful space made the night very memorable.’


Rowan Pierce soprano

Esther Brazil mezzo-soprano

Ted Black   tenor

Ashley Riches bass

Choir of The Queen's College, Oxford

Academy of Ancient Music

Owen Rees director

Painting of baby Jesus and Mary