Each year for the past 80 years Handel's "Messiah" has been performed in Sydney by the Radio Community Chest's Combined Church Choirs and will be sung again this year by a choir open to all from the city and beyond who would like to sing.
The choir is usually accompanied by a professional orchestra, the Sydney Town Hall Grand Organ and soloists. Like the first performance in Dublin funds are used for charity and benefit cultural activities and needy causes in the Sydney region.
For the 80th anniversary of Radio Community Chest Handel’s Messiah, a CD of our composite historical Messiah was created using recordings from 1962 to 2019. It comes in a folder which also includes a DVD recording of the whole 2020 presentation at a cost of $25. Ordering on line will be available soon.
No hoops or swords please!
German born but naturalised English composer, George Fredrich Handel, was said to have composed his immortal oratorio "Messiah" in about three weeks, and today it is still one of the best known and frequently performed choral works in Western music.
Much to the dismay of the librettist, Charles Jennens, the first performance was not in London but at a charity concert in Dublin, when 16 men and 16 boys from the combined choirs of St Patricks and Christ Church cathedrals sang "Messiah" accompanied by a small orchestra that included Handel's own organ. Expecting a larger than usual audience (700 people attended the premiere), gentlemen were asked not to carry swords and women were asked not to wear hoops.
The men soloists were selected from the choir, and the women soloists chosen for their previous performances in Handel's subscription series in Dublin.
The score from which the musicians worked was marked "SOG" ("To God alone the glory") leading to the belief that Handel wrote "Messiah", including the famous "Hallelujah" chorus, in a fervour of divine inspiration.
Enjoy one of the choruses sung by the Radio Community Chest CHOIR at the 2015 Performance
Performances in the Town Hall
The Radio Community Chest Inc. thankfully acknowledges the support provided by the Council of the City of Sydney.
Photos on this website courtesy of
Alexander Mayes Photography, & Sardaka
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