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Handel’s Messiah coming to Truro's First United Church

Those performing in the Handel’s Messiah concert this Saturday have been rehearsing to prepare for the big night at Truro’s First United Church.
Those performing in the Handel’s Messiah concert this Saturday have been rehearsing to prepare for the big night at Truro’s First United Church. - Contributed By The Cantabile Society of Truro

Cantabile Society of Truro ready to perform oratorio that’s nearly three centuries old

The Cantabile Society of Truro is bringing Handel’s Messiah home this week after a well-received performance at New York’s Carnegie Hall.

The show will run at Truro’s First United Church Saturday, Dec. 8 and will include solo performances from choir members, as well as performers from East Hants, some of whom also travelled with the society to their New York show last month.

“It’s marvelous to bring it home after performing it there,” said Chris Bowman, the Cantabile Society’s artistic director. “I also love this music, I’ve experienced it as a member of the choir, as a conductor, as a soloist and as an audience member. No matter what I am, I’m always discovering something new about this piece.”

Bowman said even though Handel’s Messiah is performed several times over Christmas, every conductor leading the show still leaves his or her own unique stamp.

For example, the New York show was a large affair including 500 performers from as far away as Qatar and Hong Kong, whereas the show in Truro will be a more intimate experience including the solo acts as part of the main concert.

First composed in 1741 by George Frideric Handel, a German-born British composer, Handel’s Messiah was originally performed with a small orchestra.

The performance is split into three parts telling the story of Jesus’s birth starting with Old Testament prophecies.

Bowman said over the years, Handel’s Messiah was performed by bigger music groups until the present day, with the trend now being to keep the performance as close to the original as possible. The Cantabile Society’s Truro show will feature about 70 performers.

A smaller performance will also allow Bowman and his colleagues to better showcase individual talent, such as Shannon Robertson on trumpet and Cynthia Davies, a well-known Nova Scotian pianist.

“It’s an honour, really, to be working with so many singers at so many different levels, who know the piece really well and can bring all their talent together,” said Bowman.

The Saturday show of Handel’s Messiah runs from 7 to 10 p.m. at First United Church. Tickets are $25 and can be bought at MacQuarries Pharmasave on Esplanade Street, from individual choir members or at the door.

For updates, check the Cantabile Society of Truro’s Facebook page.

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