Handel’s ‘Messiah’: To sing a story

Handel’s ‘Messiah’: To sing a story

Audience gets a chance to participate in beloved oratorial
Ruth Wilson Francisco directs the choir as Gloria Decker sings a solo during “The Messiah” rehearsal. “The Messiah” performance is at 6 p.m. Sunday at The United Methodist Church on Park Street.
Joe Curry and Cecilia Littleton Edwards provide music for the singers during a rehearsal for “The Messiah.”
What is an oratorio?

An oratorio is an extended work for chorus, soloists, and orchestra. It was so named because its original performance venue was an oratory, a small chapel or house of prayer. Emerging out of the Baroque era (1600 – 1750), oratorios found a ready audience in early 18th century Europe when an emergent middle class began to challenge the aristocracy and its elite musical art forms such as Italian opera.
Oratorios borrow certain elements from opera – recitative, aria, and orchestra – and combine them with non-operatic features such as English-language texts, the use of a narrator, and large choruses that represent “the people.” Unlike opera, however, oratorios do not have costumes or action. Rather, the drama lies in the story-telling.

Handel’s ‘Messiah’: To sing a story

Ruth Wilson Francisco directs the choir as Gloria Decker sings a solo during “The Messiah” rehearsal. “The Messiah” performance is at 6 p.m. Sunday at The United Methodist Church on Park Street.
Joe Curry and Cecilia Littleton Edwards provide music for the singers during a rehearsal for “The Messiah.”
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