Notre Dame Chorale, graces the Leighton stage with music every year in their fall concert (on Friday, November 8th, this year). In addition to their regular performances, Notre Dame Chorale and Notre Dame Chamber Orchestra perform Handel’s Messiah every year to help kick off the holiday season.
Messiah is a famous English oratorio composed by George Frideric Handel and based on a libretto written by Charles Jennen. Handel was a devout Christian and Messiah reflects his faith. The text of the chorus was taken directly from the King James Bible. Jennen used it to interpret the Christian doctrine of the Messiah.
Messiah is Handel’s most famous creation and is one of the most popular and respected works in Western choral literature. The music for Messiah was completed in 24 days of swift composition. Comprised of three parts, Messiah includes the popular movement “Hallelujah!” during which everyone stands.
The custom of standing during the “Hallelujah!” chorus originates from a belief that at the London premiere of Messiah, King George II did so, but there is no evidence that the king was present at the performance (or any subsequent Messiah performance). The legend is that King George was so moved by the music that he stood to his feet when he heard it, requiring his subjects followed suit.
The Notre Dame Chorale and Chamber Orchestra presents Handel’s Messiah to a sold-out audience in the Leighton Concert Hall two nights in a row every year. This year’s presentation of Messiah is on Friday, December 6 & 7 at 8:00 PM.
This event has become a joyous tradition for the Notre Dame and South Bend communities to ring in the holiday season and a family friendly concert. Sign up for a shift and buy tickets for the family to enjoy Handel’s most well-known music.
Click “play” below to see the ND Chorale performing with the ND Chamber Orchestra in 2009. They performed on the Leighton stage with the director of the Notre Dame Chorale, Alex Blachly.