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Handel: Messiah


  • From Saturday 17th to Sunday December 2022
  • Royal Chapel
  • 2h40 with intermission
Homepage Handel: Messiah 2022


Marie Lys Soprano

Margherita Maria Sala Contralto

Pablo Bemsch Tenor

Alex Rosen Bass

Chœur de Chambre du Palais de la Musique Catalane de Barcelone

Orchestre de l’Opéra Royal

Under the high patronage of Aline Foriel-Destezet

Franco Fagioli Conductor



Messiah is Handel’s most famous composition: the oratorio premiered in Dublin in 1742 and was a resounding success at the premiere: such was the demand for tickets that gentlemen were asked to ‘forego wearing their swords’ and ladies to come ‘without hooped dresses’, to make room for more listeners, and so increase the proceeds ‘for charity’. For the great alto aria “He was despised”, the Reverend Delany was so moved that he stood up and cried out to the singer: ‘Woman, for this, be all thy sins forgiven thee!”

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Revived in London, Messiah soon became Handel’s signature work. Performed thirty-six times during his lifetime, it quickly became the epitome of the majestic and sublime in music. Charles Jennens constructed the libretto dedicated to Christ in three parts: Nativity; Passion and Resurrection; Redemption. The ideal alternation of solo arias and choruses is admirable, and Handel’s lyrical skill is evident throughout the arias: suave or victorious, they are among the composer’s most beautiful. The memorable choruses have been in our ears for over two hundred and fifty years… In London, King George II was so struck by Hallelujah that he rose to his feet with emotion, followed by the entire audience, and every British audience since. The Royal Opera Orchestra of Versailles joins the Chamber Choir of the Palau de la Musica Catalana in Barcelona for a tour led by the renowned Franco Fagioli, conducting for the first time in Europe: his exceptional musical science should make this treasure of English Baroque music shine with a thousand Latin lights!

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The Royal Chapel of the Château de Versailles

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And also…

Handel – Messiah

Handel’s Messiah is a huge success! A work of genius synonymous with hope and exaltation, it remains today a monument of sacred music.
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