Handel's Messiah on in the four main centres for Christmas

George Frideric Handel's Messiah
Auckland Choral: and Pipers Sinfonia
December 19, 20, 7.30pm
Auckland Town Hall
The Tudor Consort Choir and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Michael Fowler Centre
December 10
Christchurch City Choir and Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Isaac Theatre Royal, Christchurch
December 2
City Choir Dunedin with the Southern Sinfonia,
Dunedin Town Hall
December 10

Handel's Messiah was originally performed onstage of the Musick Hall in Dublin on April 13, 1742. Since then the work has been at the heart of the repertoire of many choral groups and the high point of the year.

This will be Auckland Choral's 98th consecutive year of singing Messiah.

Joining the choir for this year’s performance is a quartet of outstanding soloists lead by the Canadian baroque soprano Cassandra Extavour, with three New Zealand award-winning singers mezzo Bianca Andrew, Manase Latu and bass James Ioelu.

“It’s exciting to perform with such vibrant soloists,” says Uwe Grodd, Auckland Choral’s Music Director. “The calibre, energy and passion that exudes in their voices is something we can all look forward to.”

The 100-strong Auckland Choral will be accompanied by Piper’s Sinfonia, an orchestra of musicians specialising in the baroque style of playing a compelling rendition of Handel’s Messiah.

Auckland Choral is particularly well known for its annual Christmas performances of Handel’s Messiah. It is believed that Auckland Choral holds the world record for the number of times it has performed it.

In Wellington, the Tudor Consort will be accompanied by the NZSO, which this  year will be conducted by Australian broadcaster and Handel scholar Graham Abbott who has conducted the work more than 70 times.

The soloists include soprano, Madeleine Pierard, countertenor Christopher Field, tenor Henry Choo and  bass James Clayton.

In Christchurch, the Christchurch City Choir and Christchurch Symphony Orchestra will be conducted by Brian Law who will also be playing the harpsichord

The singers include soprano Elizabeth Mandeno, mezzo Maaike Christie-Beekman. tenor Andrew Grenon and bass Joel Amosa,
City Choir Dunedin will perform the work with the Southern Sinfonia, conducted by David Burchell, Soloists include Dunedin-born bass and Mobil Song Quest Winner Jonathan Lemalu, soprano Lois Johnston, mezzo Amanda Cole and tenor David Hamilton.