April 19, 2019
On April 13, 1742, a Friday, the most celebrated composer of the day in England, Georg Frideric Handel (a German by birth) was in Dublin, Ireland, at the invitation of the Lord Lieutenant. He was to premier his new oratorio, Messiah, on a libretto prepared by Charles Jennens.
All of society Dublin (English and Irish) was focused on the event and subscriptions had been oversold, forcing the Musical Society to suggest to attendees that women forego hoop skirts and gentlemen leave their ceremonial jeweled swords at home. The combined choirs of Christ Church and Saint Patrick's Cathedral formed a powerful combination with the finest orchestral musicians available.
In a report on a public rehearsal, the Dublin News-Letter described the oratorio as "... far surpass[ing] anything of that Nature which has been performed in this or any other Kingdom".
It is with a desire to recreate Messiah for the CSRA, on a Friday in April, that the ACS will undertake this challenge, 276 years after Handel's premier.
The concert will be presented in two sections (instead of Handel's three), separated by a period of refreshment.