The Chancel Choir of Second Presbyterian Church and the University Choir and Chorale of Shawnee State University will present George Frideric Handel’s sacred masterpiece
Messiah on Good Friday, April 18 at 2 p.m. at Second Presbyterian Church, 801 Waller Street, Portsmouth, Ohio.
Soloists for the performance include Emma Hunter Stewart and Mariah Minter Ginn, sopranos, Michele Imes, mezzo-soprano, Brent Hunt, tenor, and Bard Suverkrop, bass-baritone.
The choirs and orchestra are under the direction of Dr. Stanley Workman, Jr., Director of Music at Second Presbyterian Church, and Coordinator of Vocal Arts at Shawnee State University. The performance is free and open to the public. Everyone is welcome to attend the special performance of one of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works in Western music.
Workman directed past performances of Messiah in 2000, 2002 and 2004 at Second Presbyterian Church and in 2009 at Shawnee State. The upcoming performance is a nearly complete one, he said, with several numbers that have never been performed in this area.
Messiah is an English-language oratorio composed by Handel in 1741 with a scriptural text compiled by Charles Jennens from the King James Bible and from the version of the
Psalms included with the Book of Common Prayer. It was first performed in Dublin on April 13, 1742, and received its London premiere nearly a year later. After an initially modest public reception, the oratorio has gained in popularity through the years.
Handel’s reputation in England, where he had lived since 1712, had been established through his compositions of Italian opera. He turned to English oratorio in the 1730’s, in response to changes in public taste.
Messiah was his sixth work in this genre. Although its structure resembles that of opera, it is not in dramatic form; there are no impersonations of characters and very little direct speech.
Instead, Jennen’s text is an extended reflection on Jesus Christ as
Messiah. The text begins in Part I with prophecies by Isiah and others, and moves to the annunciation to the shepherds, the only “scene” taken from the Gospels. In Part II, Handel concentrates on the Passion and ends with the “Hallelujah” chorus. In Part III he covers the resurrection of the dead and Christ’s glorification in Heaven.
Further information about the Good Friday presentation of Messiah may be obtained by contacting the Second Presbyterian Church office at 353-4159.
Looking for a way to volunteer?
We always need more drivers for Meals on Wheels!
Think of how good it would feel to know you were part of a team effort to help seniors stay in their homes by providing them meals! Portsmouth’s Meals on Wheels program delivers meals to people in their
homes. For years Second Presbyterian has been organizing a team effort to make the deliveries
every four weeks, always on a Thursday.
If you would like to help, please contact the office.