When Handel’s Messiah was first unveiled to the public in 1742, it caused a sensation. Dublin’s Musick Hall was so full that the men attended ‘without swords’ and the ladies were asked to wear skirts ‘without hoops’ to make room for more listeners. The press declared a triumph: ‘The Sublime, the Grand, and the Tender… conspired to transport and charm the ravished Heart and Ear.’ More than 250 years on, it still holds a remarkable place in the repertoire, its ability to delight and enthral virtually unparalleled, its powerful choruses and exquisite solo writing together creating a score that is as fresh and inspiring as ever.
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