Messiah and Christmas Favorites Charm Concertgoers
Handel’s Messiah is a favorite at Christmas concerts and sing-ins. It’s not surprising then that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir—with a new recording of the full work coming out in spring 2016—is presenting a montage of Messiah music coupled with a reading about the work’s creation. Acclaimed British actor Martin Jarvis, knighted by Queen Elizabeth in the year 2000, presents the compelling story.
“The story behind Messiah is one that will mean something to the audience in this community,” Jarvis explained while preparing for rehearsal earlier in the week. Handel wrote Messiah for a charity benefit in Ireland where it was well received. After a slow start in London, Handel performed Messiah to help support a foundling hospital and there the music found its niche. “It’s really all about helping those who have fallen on hard times, helping children, doing what Jesus Christ did to help others,” said Jarvis, whose drama credits include acclaimed West End performances in London, character voices for the animated film Wreck-It Ralph and Star Wars video games, television programs from Doctor Who to Law and Order: UK, and director of more than 100 major productions for BBC radio and NPR in America.
Performing the Messiah selections are Metropolitan Opera soloists Erin Morley (soprano), Tamara Mumford (mezzo-soprano), Ben Bliss (tenor), and Tyler Simpson (bass).
The program also includes a sparkling medley of Christmas favorites featuring Laura Osnes, Broadway star and a familiar face to Choir audiences having charmed crowds at the Pioneer Day concert earlier in the year.
The Choir, Orchestra at Temple Square, Bells on Temple Square, dancers and decorations create a Christmas program that fits the tradition of spectacular performances for many years. Easily the hottest ticket in town, the concert has a three-day run on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Tickets are all distributed, but patrons are encouraged to stand by for seating. The concert will be shown on overflow seating in the Tabernacle. Osnes, Jarvis, and the Metropolitan Opera singers will also perform on the December 20 broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word. No tickets are required for this performance.