Handel’s Messiah For Our Time
Stream on Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020 at 4 p.m. Online + YouTube + Facebook
Handel’s Messiah, one of the most beloved holiday traditions, begins with the phrase “Comfort ye my people.” In a year when people need comfort more than ever, GBH and the Handel and Haydn Society present a transformative take on the holiday tradition.
Since its 1742 premiere, Handel’s Messiah has captivated concert-goers around the world. It is one of the few compositions in the history of music that has never waned in popular and critical appeal and is highly anticipated every year by families, friends, music lovers, and those just looking for a holiday experience.
In the hour-long broadcast featuring the H+H Chorus and the unrivaled period instrument H+H Orchestra, spectacular soloists will bring to life Part One of Messiah plus the “Hallelujah” Chorus. The performance will be led by conductor Ian Watson and will feature solos from soprano Joélle Harvey, countertenor Reginald Mobley, tenor Aaron Sheehan, and baritone Sumner Thompson.
The program was recorded at GBH’s Brighton Studio while closely adhering to Massachusetts COVID-19 protocols. Safety for the musicians and the production staff was a top priority and required the use of innovative technologies and production efforts.
“This year, we are facing a holiday season unlike any other we have seen in our lifetime. We were determined to find a way to bring Messiah to the community, to hold on to this tradition which has stood as a source of joy and comfort for so long,” said David Snead, president and CEO at the Handel and Haydn Society. “We are honored to work closely with GBH to ensure the continuity of this holiday tradition and to bring this gift to the community.”
“The production of Handel’s Messiah for Our Time required an unmatched degree of collaboration, innovation, and resilience, on behalf of the partners, the musicians, and the production team,” said Anthony Rudel, general manager for music at GBH. “The project was an artistic and technological challenge but one worth achieving. The resulting show will help keep one of Boston’s best-loved holiday traditions alive, even as we adapt to challenging times.”