They can Handel it! c

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Mexborough-based Bel Canto Choir are performing a special version of Handel’s The Messiah at St Margaret’s Church, Swinton with an outstanding array of top-line well-known musicians.

Bel Canto treasurer Peter Humphries said: “The oratorio will be delivered as originally planned by Handel- original instruments and scoring, in all a very lively performance.

And of course it is an Easter oratorio. It should be a tremendous experience for audience members, whether they are new to Messiah or not.”

The choir intend to recreate the sounds and interpretation of the early pre-London performances of Handel’s Messiah in authentic Baroque style and with period playing from the instrumentalists, using full continuo - a harpsichord, cello and chamber organ.

Musical Director David Barnard (whose Baroque adventures include Handel’s Opera Tamerlano with players from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment) has brought together a team to rival that of many concert platforms in the area. Handel intended the work to be performed and interpreted by secular singer/actor types, causing an outcry that the work would be blasphemous with the title The Messiah.

It was also performed in a theatre, and designed to be enjoyed as a piece of drama and not the often slow and heavy performances associated with the late Victorian era.

Featuring in the soloist line up, are renowned Bass, Richard Mitham who has taken the stage as a principal at Glyndebourne, Welsh National Opera and Scottish Opera; Tenor, Christopher Lemmings, whose solo career spans many European opera houses; Mezzo-Soprano, Charlotte Tetley, and Sheffield’s own internationally acclaimed Soprano, Deborah Norman.

Adding even more finesse to the evening, cellist Kim Mackrell from the London Symphony Orchestra, Jonathan Gooing on chamber organ and Mathew Knowles on trumpet. Saturday March 24, 7.15pm, Tickets £8 from 01709 582026.