VIDEO: Valley orchestra brings Messiah to Langley

Children choir, an a cappella group, and a chorus join orchestra in travelling weekend performances.

Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra and Chorus bring G.F. Handel’s Messiah to Langley twice this weekend.

This performance is a way to celebrate the 2017 Christmas season across the Fraser Valley, said music director Paula DeWit.

“One of the special challenges in performing Messiah year after year is to keep the work sounding fresh, as if one had just discovered it,” she said.

“It is a joy for many listeners to experience a more detailed, articulate style and quicker tempos based on Baroque dance rhythms and speech patterns.

“Today, such an interpretation is much more common among both period and modern orchestras, and it is no longer surprising. Instead, a listener can focus on the drama of the work and how a particular performance presents it,” she explained.

“I personally have found it satisfying to return to the work each year, not so much to perform various versions of it or to consciously try to do something ‘different,’ but rather to discover more details and thus provide a greater depth in the music.

“For me, that is what makes it perpetually ‘new.’ It quite literally sparkles! A work such as Messiah is truly inexhaustible. Historically, its beauty is everlasting and keeps audiences coming back year after year. For many, annual attendance at a performance of Handel’s Messiah has become an established and favoured family tradition as an important part to the onset of Christmas festivities.”

The CSO and Chorus will be joined by the Chilliwack Children’s and Youth Choirs, the a cappella group Belle Voci, and guest soloists soprano Nancy Hasiuk, countertenor Shane Hanson, and tenor Thomas Lamont.

The performances are Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 9 and 10.

The first is being held at St. Joseph’s Catholic parish at 20th Street and Fraser Highway in downtown Langley City.

Then, on Sunday, they’re performing at Saint Joachim and Ann on 272nd Street in Aldergrove.

Both shows are at 7:30 p.m. and while tickets for Saturday’s show are $15, the Sunday performance in Aldergrove is by donation.

There is also another show being performed Friday night, in Chilliwack, at the First Avenue Christian Assembly.

Tickets are available online at chilliwacksymphony.com, or by calling the CSO box office at 1-604-795-0521.

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