Musica Sacra's Annual MESSIAH to Perform at Carnegie Hall, Now thru 12/23
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by BWW News Desk
For over 45 years, Musica Sacra has held annual performances of Handel's Messiah. Tonight, December 20, and Sunday, December 23, both at 8 pm at Carnegie Hall, Musica Sacra performs Handel's masterpiece once again with music director Kent Tritle conducting the Musica Sacra Chorus and Orchestra and vocal soloists Kathryn Lewek, soprano, Kirsten Sollek, mezzo-soprano, Nicholas Phan, tenor, and Matt Boehler, bass.
Ticket prices range from $25-$128, and are available through Carnegie Hall online (www.carnegiehall.org), by phone (CarnegieCharge, 212-247-7800); or in person (Carnegie Hall Box Office, 57th Street & 7th Avenue).
This year, Music Director and Conductor Kent Tritle has selected two lesser-known variants from the Baerenreiter edition to be included in the performances. The traditional Andante Accompagnato "And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them" is replaced by the exquisite Arioso version, an extended pastorale for soprano, cello and organ continuo. Instead of the traditional soprano solo "How beautiful are the feet," Musica Sacra will perform the Duet and Chorus variant as was performed at the 1742 Messiah premiere in Dublin. The duet was composed for two altos; for this performance, it will be performed by Ms. Lewek and Ms. Sollek opening with the same text ("How beautiful are the feet"). The chorus then enters with the text "Break forth into joy." It has been suggested that this was done by Handel to fully utilize the strong chorus forces available to him in Dublin - a situation also available to Maestro Tritle with the Musica Sacra chorus.
Musica Sacra's long tradition of presenting Messiah in New York began in the 1960s under the choir's founder and Music Director Richard Westenburg, and its annual concerts represent the longest-running performances of Messiah by a professional chorus in New York City's history.
For information, visit Musica Sacra online (www.musicasacrany.com) or call (212) 330-7684.