Messiah rings out in special performance

An image of Jesus the Messiah.
An image of Jesus the Messiah.

A prominent Alnwick choral group will bring Messiah to life in a special performance at the town’s St Paul’s Church at the end of the month.

As many get ready for Easter, members of the Alnwick and District Choral Society are tuning up their voices to perform the enormity that is Handel’s Messiah.

The group will not only be performing the three-part classic, they have special performances from an award-winning opera group.

Four soloists from Opera North, an internationally-renowned opera company, will grace the St Paul’s Church stage. They are Lorna James, (soprano), Jeanie Larkin, (mezzo-soprano) Paul Rendall (tenor) and Paul Gibson (bass).

But it doesn’t stop there. A custom-made pipe organ will be making its debut at the performance.

Lammermuir Pipe Organs in East Lothian was commissioned to make the organ in 2011 but, due to the economic meltdown in the country, there were many delays in finding the financing.

Finally, funding was given and the organ has been built over the last eight months.

The case is solid oak with decorative fretwork panels on the front.

It is designed to separate to allow transportation in an estate car so there are retractable lifting handles on the upper case.

Messiah, the English-language oratorio composed by George Frideric Handel in 1741, is structured in three parts.

The libretto by Jennens is drawn from the Bible, mostly from the Old Testament of the King James Bible, but with several psalms taken from the Book of Common Prayer.

The oratorio’s structure follows the liturgical year, Part I corresponding with Advent, Christmas and the life of Jesus; Part II with Lent, Easter, the Ascension, and Pentecost; and Part III with the end of the church year.

The performance is on Sunday, March 29, at 7.30pm at St Paul’s Church. Tickets cost £10 on the door.