Southwest Symphony Orchestra invites you to enjoy free performances of Handel’s ‘Messiah’

The Southwest Symphony Orchestra will offer free performances of Handel's "Messiah" on Dec. 1 and 2, 2018, St. George, Utah | Composite image with courtesy photo of George Frideric Handel, St. George News

FEATURE — Hallelujah, hallelujah – it’s time to raise up on your feet and cheer at the holiday favorite Handel’s “Messiah” performed by the Southwest Symphony Orchestra.

Southwest Symphony Orchestra for the 2018-19 season, St. George, Utah | Photo courtesy of Southwest Symphony Orchestra, St. George News

The orchestra is pleased to be joined by LietoVoices for this season’s performance, along with featured soloists to present selections such as “For Unto Us a Child is Born,” “Glory to God” and the venerated “Hallelujah Chorus,” where the audience rises to their feet in celebration as King George II once did – or so the legend goes.

The Baroque-era oratorio was composed in 1741 by George Frideric Handel. It has become a Southern Utah tradition and worldwide favorite but surprisingly it wasn’t always meant to be a fixture in Christmas celebrations.

“If anything it’s meant more for Easter, than for Christmas,” said Miles Hoffman, National Public Radio music commentator in a report, adding the oratorio is actually a collection of biblical texts.

“Messiah’s” text was written by librettist Charles Jennens, a close friend and collaborator of Handel, using stories of Jesus from the King James Bible.

“The first part speaks about the coming of the Messiah, but the second part of the oratorio has to do with the death and the resurrection,” said Hoffman, who described the third act as a meditative section on the meaning of it all and not really a Christmas piece but has been adopted by Americans as such since the 19th century.

Handel is known as the inventor of English oratorio, which places the focus more on the chorus and this is certainly the case with “Messiah.” He worked at a furious pace on the wonderful masterpiece, creating 15 to 20 notes per minute, totaling 250,000 notes in the final composition.

These concerts are a free gift to the community and tickets are not needed to attend. Seating is on a first-come, first-seated basis but a special seating area has been reserved for season-ticket holders of the symphony.

ASL seating will also be provided for both performances.

The Southwest Symphony Orchestra’s mission is to inspire and enrich audiences through the transformative power of symphonic music and you won’t want to miss this glorious holiday tradition.

Event details

  • What: Southwest Symphony Orchestra presents Handel’s “Messiah”
  • When: Dec. 1, 2 p.m., Dec. 2, 7:30 p.m.
  • Where: Cox Auditorium, 225 S. 700 East, St. George.
  • Cost: Free.

• S P O N S O R E D  C O N T E N T •

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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