Mon, December 13 • 7:00 PM
Margeson Theater, Lowndes Shakespeare Center
Christopher Wilkins, conductor
Kimberly Randall, soprano | Tai Oney, countertenor
Curtis Rayam, tenor | Thomas Potter, baritone
First United Methodist Church of Orlando Choir – William Shortal, director
*If you are interested in ordering a pro-rated subscription, please
contact the Orlando Philharmonic Box Office at (407) 770-0071.
The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra proudly performs Handel’s choral masterpiece, Messiah, on Monday, December 13, 2010 at 7:00 PM at the Margeson Theater, located in the Lowndes Shakespeare Center, 812 E. Rollins Street, Orlando. The program is the second concert in the orchestra’s Focus Series.
Maestro Christopher Wilkins leads the Orlando Philharmonic in all three parts of this production of Messiah, one of the most popular works in Western choral literature. Joining the Philharmonic is the First United Methodist Church of Orlando Choir, William Shortal, director. Featured soloists are Kimberly Randall, soprano; Tai Oney, countertenor; Curtis Rayam, tenor and Thomas Potter, baritone.
Maestro Wilkins discusses the work, “Handel’s Messiah is the most often performed work of the Baroque era. It was popular from its very first performance, and today it is appreciated by people of all ages and all faiths. When it was first performed, it was billed as a ‘Musical Entertainment.’ It was thought of as ‘opera for the mind,’ and was presented during Lent rather than at Christmas time. Today it inspires people of all faiths with its stirring choruses and sublime arias. Messiah is a musical setting of biblical texts, suggesting scenes from the gospels without actually representing them theatrically. Theaters were closed during Lent in Handel’s day. As one commentator wrote, ‘There was strong opposition to hearing the words of the New Testament in a theatre, peopled by actors and actresses and others of loose morals and dubious habits.’
“One of the most delightful aspects of Messiah is its ‘word painting,’ the way the music paints a musical picture in response to the text. The opening chords of the overture place us in the dark world of exile. But then the tenor sings of rough places becoming plain, and the orchestra smoothes out all the textures, revealing a whole vista opening before our eyes. In representing the Refiner’s fire, Handel’s music glows red and leaps like the flames of a furnace. During the annunciation of the angel, the strings form a halo above her, then the heavens open up for a moment as the chorus takes on the role of the heavenly host.”
Wilkins concludes, “Messiah is a one of a kind. It works brilliantly on many different levels. When it touches on the Prophecy, Nativity, Crucifixion, Resurrection, Ascension, and the Promise of Redemption, it is treating all of the major festivals of the church calendar. At the same time, the inspiration in its music comes as much from the simple utterances of shepherds as from the powerful pronouncements of prophets. And without any doubt, the Hallelujah chorus from Messiah remains one of the most thrilling passages in all of music.”
*If you are interested in ordering a pro-rated subscription, please contact the Orlando Philharmonic Box Office at (407) 770-0071.