Handel's Messiah Part I
Featuring soloists from Exsultemus
Saturday December 15, 2012 at 7:00 PM
Hear the Christmas section of this masterpiece in the intimate setting of First Church, Cambridge, as Handel originally scored it, followed by carols and the Hallelujah Chorus for all to sing. With soloists of Exsultemus: Brenna Wells, Thea Lobo, Matthew Anderson, and Ulysses Thomas.
- First Church Congregational
- 11 Garden Street
- Cambridge, MA
- More details
View venue details and seating chart
For our Harvard Square performances at First Church Congregational, Musica Sacra provides free parking for all non-group* ticket holders. The parking lot is University Parking at 124 Mt. Auburn St. near the Charles Hotel. Please note: Although the address is 124 Mt. Auburn St., which is directly across from the Post Office, you will need to drive down to the end of University Road. The entrance will be on your RIGHT.
The walk from the covered garage to First Church is approximately .4 miles. Please be sure to bring your parking ticket with you to the concert, as you will need to get a validation sticker from us.
- Map of Parking Garage Location (you will need to turn down University Place to enter the garage).
- Group ticket holders will receive a validation sticker for $4 off the regular $11 weekend rate.
Bus and subway transportation options are conveniently located within a five-minute walk at the MBTA Red Line Harvard Square station.
This facility is wheelchair-accessible. Wheelchair access is located at the side entrance, around and to the right of the main church doors on Garden Street.
Large-print programs are available upon request. Please call the Musica Sacra office at least 3 days in advance of performance and let us know how many large-print programs you will need. Our telephone number is (617) 349 - 3400.
Advance ticket sales for this 7:00 concert have closed, however, some tickets remain and will be available at the door beginning at 6:00 PM. We hope to see you at the concert.
Concert Program Notes
As with Handel's premiere of Messiah, our performance has only a small string ensemble accompanying the chorus for those movements not calling for brass and timpani. Unlike Handel's first performance, however, in keeping with the time of year that we are presenting it, we perform only the first part, which concerns the Christmas story. The other two parts, telling of Christ's passion and resurrection, are often performed at this time of year, but they are not relevant to the season and make the work quite a bit longer. Our one exception to this is the inclusion of the Hallelujah chorus to end the concert, for what performance of Handel's Messiah would be complete without it? You, the audience, will also have an opportunity to sing this movement, along with carols, at the end of the evening.
Handel wrote many oratorios, or unstaged operas, in his lifetime, but Messiah and Israel in Egypt are the only two that have no specific dramatic roles for soloists; there is no Jesus or Mary. In addition, the story itself, rather than being an expansive libretto postulated upon the Biblical story, unfolds through paraphrases and direct quotes from Biblical verses. Choral movements abound, providing dramatic impetus to the story. For these reasons, the premiere of Messiah in London was poorly received, but by 1750 the work had become popular and has remained so ever since.