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Archived event

Performance details

Saturday 10 December 2022 at 7pm
Sunday 11 December 2022 at 5pm

Arts Centre Melbourne, Hamer Hall

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Recorded in 2019, experience Sir Andrew Davis conducting the MSO in his version of Messiah.

Watch on MSO.LIVE


Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Sir Andrew Davis conductor
Jacqueline Porter soprano
Catherine Carby mezzo-soprano
Andrew Goodwin tenor
Christopher Richardson bass
MSO Chorus

Warren Trevelyan-Jones
chorus director


Handel (arr. Davis) Messiah

About this performance

A festive favourite is reinvigorated by Sir Andrew Davis’ new orchestration, in its second performance in Australia.

Sir Andrew Davis sang Handel’s Messiah as a boy soprano, and his reorchestration is a labour of love. Davis describes his aim as to “clothe the work with all the colours available from a modern orchestra; as a result [he has] used such instruments as alto flute, oboe d’amore, harp and some percussion including marimba and even sleigh bells!”

Messiah contains the famous “Hallelujah!” chorus which has been quoted in popular culture since its creation. A few years after its premiere in 1742, Messiah became an Easter time fixture, performed to raise funds for the Foundling Hospital in London. The oratorio has never fallen out of favour and is commonly performed around Christmas.

Rather than follow a specific biblical narrative, the text of Messiah is taken from various passages in the Old and New Testament. The vibrant arias and recitatives bring colour and urgency to the subject matter, with Handel utilising visceral word-painting throughout.

Duration: approx. 165 minutes including interval

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