Handel’s Messiah

Click Register on this link for tickets for St Muredach’s Cathedral Choir’s spectacular performance of Handel’s “Messiah” this November 11 2023.

The performance is part of the Ballina 2023 celebrations and is the first time Handel’s “Messiah” will be performed in full in Ballina and the first time an entire oratorio will be performed in the town.

Anticipation is building for the once-in-a-lifetime performance in St Muredach’s Cathedral, Ballina on Saturday, November 11 by the renowned St. Muredach’s Cathedral Choir of Handel’s ‘Messiah’. Under the direction of choral director Regina Deacy, and part of the Ballina 2023 celebrations, the performance will be accompanied by the Irish Choral Sinfonia Orchestra, and will mark the first time Handel’s Messiah has been performed in full in Ballina. St Muredach’s Cathedral choir are delighted to be joined by some members of Cór Mhaigh Eo, a Mayo-wide mixed voice choir directed by Dr Brian Lennon. The soloists for this performance are Rachel Croash (soprano), Ann Marie Gibbons (alto), David Lynn (Tenor) and Rory Musgrave (bass).  Tickets are expected to sell out quickly.

Director of St Muredach’s Cathedral Choir Regina Deacy said: We have always enjoyed singing the much loved ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ from ‘Messiah’ at Easter ceremonies in the cathedral and in concerts down through the years in the town and we felt it was time to explore and learn more excerpts from this choral masterpiece! Combined with professional soloists, the Irish Choral Sinfonia orchestra, and members of Cór Mhaigh Eo, we are excited to present this work in the magnificent building of St Muredach’s, and delighted that it coincides with the 300th birth of Ballina.

Director with Ballina 2023, Annette Maughan said: “2023 has been a celebration of Ballina’s establishment 300 years ago, and Handel’s incredible oratorio is also almost 300 years old. Less than 20 years after Ballina was established, Handel was writing this body of work which premiered in Ireland. Ballina is so renowned for its choral talent, and we are thrilled to have the prestigious St Muredach’s Cathedral Choir performing this seminal work as part of our calendar of events.
Ballina 2023 also places a strong focus on legacy, and the proceeds of this unforgettable night will help to secure the future of one of St Muredach’s Cathedral’s finest features, its incredible stained glass windows, for future generations.”

Tickets for the St Muredach’s Cathedral Choir’s Production of Handel’s ‘Messiah’, priced at €27.50, are now available from the Ballina Parish Office. Call 096 70555 or online here (click Register on Payzone website for tickets).

Proceeds will go towards the restoration and conservation of the Cathedral’s stained-glass windows.

Background to Handel’s Messiah

Messiah is an English-language oratorio in three parts, composed in 1741 by German-British composer George Frideric Handel and first performed in Fishamble Street Music Hall, Dublin in April 1742. The work was initially modestly received, but in time gained in popularity, eventually becoming one of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works in Western music.  While soloists and an orchestra compliment the work, the chorus is at its heart and it is best known for its rousing ‘Hallelujah’ refrain – one of the most famous pieces of Baroque choral music in history. The text was compiled from the King James Bible and the Coverdale Psalter by Charles Jennens and the three parts are drawn from three parts of the Bible – the story of prophecy of and the birth of Christ; that of the crucifixion and redemption of mankind; and a commentary on the redemption of Christian soul.

St. Muredach’s Cathedral Choir

St Muredach’s Cathedral Choir has been an institution since the mid- nineteenth century. Its current membership of over forty choristers is a successful blend of experienced and young voices and its repertoire includes liturgical music by Irish and International composers, plainchant and motets. The choir sing at 11am mass every Sunday in St Muredach’s Cathedral as well as at the usual liturgical highpoints in the seasons of the church year. In 2010 the choir provided music for the 6pm mass on the Feast of Christ the King in London’s Westminster Cathedral, In 2012, they led the singing at one of the masses of The Eucharistic Congress in Dublin and in 2014 the choir sang at the Mass of the Vatican Chapter in St Peter’s Basilica, Rome. The choir has also presented many concerts for charitable events in the community.

Tickets now on sale (click Register on payzone website) for St Muredach’s Cathedral Choir’s spectacular performance of Handel’s “Messiah” this November 11.