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G.F. Handel’s Messiah

Huddersfield Town Hall

20th December 2023, 7:15 pm

Handel’s Oratorio Messiah is probably the most celebrated choral work and the Hallelujah Chorus is instantly recognisable. The HCS annual Christmas Messiah performance is a Huddersfield tradition, broken only once since 1864 when concert halls closed in the 2020 Covid pandemic.

It is also the Choral’s signature piece, with a number of notable recordings beginning with Sir Malcolm Sargent in the 1950’s and most recently with Jane Glover (now Dame Jane Glover) in 2010.

It’s easy to forget that when Handel wrote this timeless classic, in a 24-day whirlwind of composition in the summer of 1741, he was treading new musical ground with a new form, the English oratorio.

Messiah wasn’t his first essay into this style – he had composed Saul and Israel in Egypt in the
two or three years before – but it was certainly the most immediately successful. Up to the mid- 1730’s Handel’s stock in trade had been Opera, but Italianate productions were falling out of public favour and, in partnership with the librettist Charles Jennens, he turned to setting Biblical texts for the concert hall rather than the stage, but with all the instinct for drama that had established him as London’s favourite. With Messiah as a result, we can be grateful to this turn in the fickle wheel of fashion.

HCS Artistic Advisor, English National Opera Director Martyn Brabbins, returns to the Town Hall podium for this concert, with our good friends the Orchestra of Opera North.

Please note that this year we are giving just one performance of Messiah in Huddersfield. Demand for tickets is certain to exceed the number available, so early booking is essential.


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Orchestra of Opera North

  • Martyn Brabbins
  • Helen Charlston
  • James Way
  • Ossian Huskinson
  • Alexandra Oomens
Ticket Prices

From £15.00

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Key People

Martyn Brabbins
Artistic Advisor

Martyn Brabbins

Martyn Brabbins is Music Director of the English National Opera.

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