I was introduced to Handel’s Messiah many years ago by my primary school teacher who took pleasure in scaring the living daylights out of his pupils by playing the Hallelujah! chorus without warning like a Ninja DJ. Apart from imparting catlike reflexes into my evolving DNA my teacher also left me with a distinct antipathy towards the piece. I think you would too if you had stapled your finger out of fright. But I’m not one to hold grudges (often) and so this Sunday evening I’m passing up my usual Serie A match and travelling to meet the old foe when it's performed by the Orchestra and Chorus of WNO, conducted by Lothar Koenigs (with soloists Laura Mitchell, Patricia Bardon, Robin Tritschler and Darren Jeffrey) at St David’s Hall.
Of course, there are those who have had a less complicated, metallic relationship with the piece, and it’s to them I now address this second paragraph. If you’ve always fancied having a crack at a chorus from The Music That Caused Fright there’s an opportunity for you to do just that on the afternoon of the concert. From 3pm to 5pm WNO are running a Messiah choral workshop for singers of all abilities – from the tuneless to the tuneful. The crescendo of the afternoon’s labours will be a performance at 6.45pm. All they ask is that you possess a ticket for that evening’s concert, have music in your heart and that you call 029 2063 5030 to sign up. But as I’ve posted this so late on a Friday afternoon I’m not sure if anyone will be around to answer the phone. If there is no-one about I’d think the lads and lasses at St David’s Hall might be able to sort something out for you if you got in touch with them.
And in case you're wondering, there are tickets left.