The public is invited to join Oratorio Chorale, the Maine Chamber Ensemble and acclaimed soloists Elisabeth Marshall, Laura Atkinson, Matthew Anderson and David Tinervia as they perform Handel’s “Messiah” Saturday and Sunday in Portland and Brunswick.

About ‘Messiah’

“Messiah”was first performed 275 years ago.

Despite its popularity, there is no definitive version of “Messiah.” It was standard practice in the eighteenth century to remove, substitute, or re-voice certain sections based on the soloists and forces available, as well as to ornament and improvise repeated melodies. Additionally, Handel was famous for tinkering and tweaking his works every time there was a revival performance. As a result, any one movement might have three to five different versions.

“One of the things that makes ‘Messiah’ challenging and exciting for a conductor is that you have to make so many foundational decisions,” said Emily Isaacson, Oratorio Chorale Artistic Director. “I believe that every time you perform a work, any work, it is our job as artists to make it resonant with this exact age, time, and place. … I wanted to make sure I really understood the Baroque style and Handel’s intentions before I applied my own take on this masterpiece, and it was so worth the wait.”

About the soloists

Soprano Marshall has voiced the works of Bach, Handel, Haydn and Mozart. A 2016 finalist in The American Prize Friedrich and Victoria Schorr Award in Art Song and Oratorio, she was awarded their Special Citation for “Outstanding Performance in Music before 1800.”

Mezzo-soprano Atkinson is an active performer in both the U.S. and Germany. She has debuted with various orchestras in both countries, including the Nashville Symphony, New Haven Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra, Carmel Bach Festival Orchestra, American Baroque Orchestra, Gewandhaus Orchestra and Braunschweig Staatsorchester.

Tenor Anderson is an interpreter of the music of Bach. Anderson sings regularly as a soloist in Boston’s renowned Emmanuel Music Bach Cantata Series.

Baritone Tinervia has performed as a soloist throughout the U.S. and Canada. A two-time fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, Tinervia recently made his debut as The Traveler in Curlew River in collaboration with the Mark Morris Dance Group.


Performances take place in Portland at St. Luke’s Cathedral Church at 7 p.m. Saturday, and in Brunswick at St. John the Baptst Church ay 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $25 for adults in advance, or $30 at the door. Student tickets half price. Children under 12 are free with a ticketed adult, but tickets are required for seating. This performance is also available with the Season Ticket Package.

The Season Ticket Package is comprised of one ticket for each of three concerts: “Messiah,” “Fauré and Kyr” and “Meditation through Music.” A season ticket package is $50 for adults $50 and $25 for students.

Advance tickets are available through Brown Paper Tickets. Door tickets will be offered if space is available. To purchase advance tickets, either go to brownpapertickets.com or call Brown Paper Tickets at 1-800-838-3006. For more information, go to oratoriochorale.org or call (207) 577- 3931.

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: