Photos courtesy of Long Beach Camerata Singers.
Hallelujah! Handel’s Messiah will be performed by the Long Beach Camerata Singers 80-voice choir at Long Beach City College Auditorium. Now in its 8th year, the performance of the Messiah has become an annual tradition in Long Beach, giving residents a chance to see and hear this magnificent oratorio. On Saturday, December 20 at 4:30PM, with a full orchestra and four professional soloists,
Camerata’s Artistic Director, Dr. Rob Istad, will conduct, welcoming four guest soloists for the occasion: soprano Kerri Caldwell, mezzo-soprano I-Chin Betty Lee, tenor Daniel Coy Babcock, and baritone James Martin Schaefer. The orchestra is comprised of professional musicians from area symphonies.
Unlike most choral works from the Baroque period, German-born composer George Frideric Handel chose to write the Messiah in English. Therefore, the work is fairly easy to understand, while the Camerata’s performance will provide subtitles so that any listener will be able to appreciate Messiah.
Dr. Rob Istad explained in an earlier statement, "Handel's Messiah is one of the greatest works among the finest masterworks of all history. Within his stunning setting of Charles Jennens' libretto, Handel captured the mystery of God and the majesty of life in a way that continues to resonate with audiences of all ages. His music and the remarkable story are as timeless today as they were at Messiah's 1742 premiere in Dublin."
Messiah was composed in 1741 in only 24 days by George Frideric Handel, who used a text prepared by British librettist Charles Jennens and was intended for an Easter performance for the next year, according to Smithsonian. Handel used the aid of compositional borrowing, a common practice at the time, meaning he adapted his previously composed material to accommodate the libretto.
Long Beach Camerata Singers is a 501(c)3 non-profit, 80-voice choir that has provided Long Beach residents with high-quality choral music for more than 46 years. Currently under the artistic direction of Dr. Robert Istad, Director of Choral Studies at CSU Fullerton and Assistant Director of the Pacific Chorale, the choir presents eight concerts a year, including a fully-orchestrated performance of Handel’s Messiah hand an annual Bach Festival. Repertoire encompasses a wide range of works from the Renaissance to the present.
Tickets start at $30; $10 student tickets are available at the door with student I.D. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here or call 562-373-5654. Long Beach City College Auditorium is located at 4901 E. Carson Street.