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Handel Messiah


Sun 15 Dec 2019, 2:00pm–4:00pm

Where: St Mary's Pro Cathedral, 373 Manchester St, Christchurch

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • General Admission: $20.00
  • Concession: $15.00
  • Additional fees may apply

Listed by: Don Whelan

Soloists will be Sarah-Jane Rennie, Louisa Pilkington, Adrian Lowe, Wally Enright, Ken Joblin and Chris Whelan. The Cathedral Orchestra will be led by Natalia M. Lomeiko, with continuo by Rebecca Bendre and Veronica van der Knaap. Don Whelan will direct.

Admission is by programme donation of $20 and $15, available at the door.

This annual performance has continued to attract a substantial audience. Messiah proved a popular choice on the group’s first four European tours, and its concerts throughout the Americas. While awaiting decisions on a future Catholic Cathedral. the spacious and resonant St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, Manchester St, is proving an excellent concert venue and temporary home for the regular cathedral music programme. The adjacent CBS Music Centre provides a substantial second auditorium, with very good acoustics and dedicated lighting, used for rehearsals and chamber music concerts.

This year’s Christmas Midnight Mass will include a NZ premiere of Mozart’s ambitious and tuneful Missa Longa. The preceding vigil, beginning at 11.30 pm, will contain the usual congregational carols.

Next year, CBS Music continues its popular Lunch Plus Wednesday At One recital series, the Bach St John Passion at 8 pm on Good Friday, and another Christmas Messiah at 2 pm on Sunday, 13 December. On 27 September, the regular Haydn concert will include his final “London” Symphony 104, and his last great Mass setting: the Harmoniemesse.

The annual Christchurch Choral Festival is planned for Sunday, 23 August, marking Beethoven’s 250th birth date with the Hallelujah Chorus from his oratorio The Mount of Olives. That work’s Introduction will begin a Lenten CBS Orchestra concert on Sunday, March 8, culminating in his famous “Eroica” Symphony No. 3.

The Cathedral Feast of Corpus Christi will be highlighted on Sunday June 14, with a special orchestral Mass at 10.30 am, and an afternoon Festival Concert, including Beethoven’s 5th Symphony and Choral Fantasy, with pianist Veronica van der Knaap. The CBS Beethoven year will conclude with a performance of his Mass in C at next year’s Christmas Midnight Mass.

New members are welcome to join the cathedral choir, which rehearses on Wednesday evenings at 7.30 pm in the CBS Music Centre. Scholarships are available to students, together with leader/soloist positions. Sight reading ability is expected. Those interested should contact the musical director, Don Whelan, phone - 358 5873.

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