Wednesday, 15 October 2008

The South Bank Show/The Messiah (1)

It's the 250th anniversary of Handel's death next year so it seems appropriate to mark this with a South Bank Show about his best known work, Messiah. We're approaching it from a grass roots perspective, that is from the view point of the thousands of amateur singers who perform it with their local choir every Christmas (and Easter too sometimes). So, where to start? Well, Yorkshire, that's where, after all, it is the home of some of our best known choral societies (Huddersfield, Halifax...). Our thinking at the moment is to follow three or four choirs as they gear up for their Christmas performance. Through them we discover the secrets of Messiah's enduring popularity. It may be stating the bleeding obvious but for many of the singers we met on our recce earlier this week, it's the words as much as Handel's music that pack a punch. Anyway, we've begun...will keep you posted, obviously.

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