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Sunday, March 15, 2009


(Pic: The Playhouse Company Chorale)
The world’s most popular choral masterpiece for the Playhouse this Easter.

Handel’s Messiah, the world’s most popular choral masterpiece, returns to the Playhouse Opera for two performances this Easter, following its triumphant sell-out staging in this venue last year. The return of this great work to the Durban stage forms part of the global celebrations marking the 250th anniversary of Handel’s death in 1759.

The production will feature the cream of Ethekwini’s choral singers, with the Durban Symphonic Choir joining forces with The Playhouse Company Chorale, performing in collaboration with the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra and a star quartet of soloists. The renowned oratorio will be conducted by resident maestro Naum Rousine.

Adding an element of visual grandeur to the experience of hearing this greatly loved piece, which is usually performed on the concert platform, this semi staged production of Messiah will be directed by Mark Hawkins.

Highlights of this much-loved work, the world’s most popular oratorio, include a wealth of choral evergreens. Among these are the magnificent Hallelujah Chorus, along with equally splendid numbers such as For Unto Us A Child Is Born, And The Glory of the Lord, and many more, also benchmark solos such as Every Valley, I Know That My Redeemer Liveth, O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion, Rejoice Greatly, The Trumpet Shall Sound and Why Do The Nations – to name just a few.

Performed in countries across the glove since 1742, Messiah is Handel's most famous creation, and a pinnacle of Western choral literature. It is widely regarded as one of the most sublime examples of human creation, to be set alongside Bach’s St Matthew Passion, Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro and Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel Ceiling. Over the past six decades or more, some 200 recordings of the work have been available to enthusiasts. Local music lovers are urged to seize this rare opportunity of seeing and hearing the great work performed live in our city this Easter.

Performances of Messiah will take place in The Playhouse Opera at 19h30 on April 9 and on April 12 (Easter Sunday) at 15h00. Tickets R65, R85 and R105. Early booking is advised through Computicket on 083 915 8000 or through The Playhouse Box Office on 031 369 9540 or 031 369 9596.