With major event restrictions still to be lifted to a point where we can perform for you in the concert hall, we regret that this MSO performance will not proceed.

We are committed to ensuring the longevity and sustainability of the MSO, and we thank you for your patience, understanding and support during this time. We will, however, keep the music going! We invite all music-lovers to enjoy free online concerts via our YouTube channel.

2020 has been one of the most difficult years in the MSO’s history. What’s more, the financial effects of COVID-19 will be felt even more in 2021. If you hold a ticket to this performance, instead of requesting a refund, we ask you to consider donating the value of your ticket to enable us to live stream more free events and continue the mission of the MSO, to enrich lives through music. Please email our Box Office prior to the performance date at if you would prefer to do this and we thank you in advance if you choose to donate during this uncertain period. MSO gift cards (valid for 3 years) are also available.

Refunds will automatically be processed to the credit card used to make the purchase on the scheduled concert date. Please note, refunds may take 10 business days to arrive in your account.

Further information can be found on the Cancelled and Rescheduled Concerts page


Nicholas McGegan conductor
Madeleine Pierard soprano
Fiona Campbell mezzo
Andrew Goodwin tenor
Hadleigh Adams bass
MSO Chorus


Handel Messiah

About the performance

The greatest Christmas concert hall tradition.

Handel’s beloved Messiah, with its famous “Hallelujah” chorus, sparks something of a global annual pilgrimage to concert halls for many in the festive season. This rousing performance is conducted by one of the world’s leading Handel experts, Nicholas McGegan

The oratorio celebrating the life, death and resurrection of Christ was completed by Handel in 1741 – in an astonishing 24 days. Not quite a burst of divine inspiration, the prodigious pace was typical for then 56-year-old composer. The work eventually established itself as a classic, with many variations and revivals since its premiere. Despite its changes it has remained a stalwart of the Christmas calendar across the world.

The libretto, sung in English tells the story of Jesus through a series of scenes, from his birth, through the Passion and finally ascension of Christ. It uses the tools of opera — recitatives, arias and choruses— as well as the strength of the symphony orchestra, for its depth and unmistakably Baroque sound.

The audience traditionally rises during the well-known “Hallelujah” chorus, an exercise which dates to the work’s debut London performance, allegedly attended by King George II. It was said, roused by the glory of the music, George II unexpectedly stood, forcing everyone present to follow suit. In reality there’s no record of the King ever attending, but regardless of how it came about, the practice endures today.

Starring soprano Madeleine Pierard, mezzo Fiona Campbell, tenor Andrew Goodwin and bass Hadleigh Adams, this performance will be conducted by one of the world’s greatest Handel experts, Nicholas McGegan OBE. Hailed as “one of the finest Baroque conductors of his generation,” McGegan has produced more than 50 recordings of Handel over a six-decade career.

If you are yet to witness the MSO perform Messiah, let 2020 be the year you take your seat and enjoy one of the most divine communal experiences any orchestra can offer.

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