Handel's Messiah

For Christmas Day at 1 pm, what a treat! It's Handel's Baroque masterpiece, Messiah. Cristian Măcelaru, conductor-in-residence of The Philadelphia Orchestra, directs the 2013 performance, with the Philadelphians joined by four distinguished soloists, and the Philadelphia Singers Chorale. Listen on WRTI's new App!

Handel’s Messiah, originally composed for performance during the springtime Christian observance of Lent, has become a contemporary staple of Christmas celebrations in modern America. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on this 18th-century oratorio.

This Sunday, December 18th at 3 pm on WRTI, Symphony in C joins with the Greater South Jersey Chorus in a performance of George Frederick Handel’s Messiah. Recorded live December 10th, this concert brings to life the well-loved 274-year-old masterpiece, called “truly immortal” by Symphony in C’s music director, Stilian Kirov.

Although Handel’s Messiah is now regularly performed during the Christmas holidays, the work was actually premiered in the spring before Easter. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on the fantastically successful masterpiece, which was created by necessity in just 24 days over two centuries ago.


Join us this Easter Sunday at 1 pm to hear a Philadelphia Orchestra concert that actually kicked off the holiday season in grand style this past December. WRTI will broadcast a joyous performance of Handel's Messiah, with a world-class roster of vocalists, a chorus of talented voices from throughout our region, and the musicians of The Philadelphia Orchestra, all conducted by Yannick Nezet-Seguin.

If you can't be at Verizon Hall for this Sunday's performance of Messiah, you can listen to last December's LIVE broadcast right here on WRTI -  on your radio or online!

One of the highlights of the Christmas season is to hear Handel's Messiah in performance. This year, on Christmas Day at 12 noon, we'll bring you a performance by the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Baroque specialist Helmut Rilling with soloists Annette Dash, soprano; Daniel Taylor, countertenor; James Taylor, tenor; Shenyang, bass; and the Gaechinger Kantorei, Stuttgart. 

Philadelphia, PA – WRTI's Susan Lewis considers George Frideric Handel's iconic 18th-century oratorio and its interpretation in dance as the Pennsylvania Ballet presents choreographer Robert Weiss' MESSIAH, set to the music of Handel. The final performances of MESSIAH, at the Academy of Music, are on March 17th.

Susan Lewis provides background information and insight into Handel's Messiah. (Originally published in 2011.)

David Patrick Stearns profiles Jan Vogler. The much talked-about cellist is about to make his Philadelphia debut.

Susan Lewis looks ahead to performances of Handel's Messiah.

Jason Peifer looks at the role of the stage manager.

Resources: