Handel’s Messiah was already part of a great British tradition just a few years after it was written. It was performed every year at Easter time, by Handel himself, as a benefit concert for charity. These days Messiah is associated with both Easter and Christmas, and in the rest of the world as well as in Britain. The message still comes through as powerfully as it did in Handel’s time in the mid-eighteenth century.
In Handel’s Messiah the choir and orchestra, today the Britten Sinfonia & Voices, have remarkably equal roles. This reinforces the feeling of togetherness that the oratorio expresses, the idea to live not just for yourself, but above all for others, like the Messiah did. Britten Sinfonia has also brought along some wonderful soloists, such as soprano Sophie Bevan and countertenor Iestyn Davis. Merry Christmas!