Arts » Stage

Handel's Messiah Brings Holiday Spirit to the Morrison Center

Saturday, Dec. 17-Sunday, Dec. 18



Most holiday traditions are the sweet and fuzzy kind—Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer on TV, twinkling lights on houses, hot cocoa and snowmen. But how about a holiday tradition that overwhelms you with a symphonic right hook?

The instrumental and vocal supergroup of Boise Philharmonic and Boise Philharmonic Master Chorale will bust out its annual performance of Handel's Messiah on Saturday, Dec. 17, and Sunday, Dec. 18, at the Morrison Center.

Messiah is one of the most performed oratorios in the world—especially around the holidays thanks to its obvious religious theme. While George Frideric Handel was not an overtly religious man, some have said he was full of the spirit when he wrote the entire work in just 24 days in 1741. Upon completing the best-known section of Messiah—the "Hallelujah Chorus"—Handel is famously said to have told his servant, "I did think I did see all of heaven before me and the great God himself."

So what does this little oratorio have going for it? Well, a mastery of the musical form, songs that are both inspirational and powerful and a devoted following. If the idea of anything operatic makes you nervous, fear not—despite being born in Germany and trained in Italy, Handel wrote his most-famous work in English.

Sure eggnog and Charlie Brown's woebegone tree have their place, but a performance of Messiah will add some octane to your holiday season. And don't forget: If you bring a non-perishable food item for the Idaho Foodbank, you'll receive 20 percent off your next Boise Philharmonic 2011-2012 ticket.


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