(Boston) The celebrated holiday tradition returns as the Handel and Haydn Society perform Handel’s glorious Messiah at Symphony Hall November 24, 25 and 26, 2023. Newly appointed Artistic Director Jonathan Cohen will lead the H+H Orchestra and Chorus as America’s oldest performing arts organizations presents the greatest story ever told in song for the 170th consecutive year. Featured soloists include Joélle Harvey, soprano; John Holiday, countertenor; Stuart Jackson, tenor; and José Coca Loza, bass-baritone. Tickets for all three performances are available now at HandelandHaydn.org.
One of the world’s best-known choral works, Messiah was first performed as a charity concert in Dublin in 1742. The Handel and Haydn Society gave the American premiere of the complete work in 1818 after first performing a portion of Messiah in 1815, its founding year. H+H began showcasing the complete Messiah annually in 1854, making the glorious ‘Hallelujah!’ Chorus one of Boston’s longest-running holiday traditions. The work will be performed on the period instruments Handel knew and wrote for, wiping off the cobwebs and restoring its original vibrancy.
The performance will be Cohen’s first time conducting Messiah with H+H and it is a work that has significance for both the organization and its namesakes.
“Handel’s Messiah has become the most well known baroque choral piece all over the world. His ingenious writing for chorus and orchestra in movements such as Hallelujah! as well as beloved arias for solo singers enchants audiences year after year with their uplifting and energizing style,” said Jonathan Cohen, Artistic Director. “I’m excited to perform this piece with H+H who have over two centuries of tradition and experience with this marvelous work.”
The H+H Orchestra and Chorus will be joined by a slate of spectacular soloists. American soprano Joélle Harvey has recently performed with the New York Philharmonic, The Cleveland Orchestra, and The Metropolitan Opera. Countertenor John Holiday is among the opera world’s fastest-rising stars, deftly bridging genres from Baroque to contemporary classical, jazz to spirituals, and bringing his unique voice and charisma to every performance. British tenor Stuart Jackson is one of Europe’s most indemand performers of Messiah, working with Insula Orchestra, the Orquesta Ciudad de Granada, and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra this season. Bass-baritone José Coca Loza has recently performed at the Opera Royal de Versailles, Salzburg Festival, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and the Grand Théâtre de Genève.
H+H is dedicated to following historically informed performance traditions of Baroque and Classical music, creating a sound every bit as fresh and contemporary as when the music was first written. Performing on period instruments, the H+H Orchestra brings an exhilarating sound to the original compositions.
The 2023-24 Season
Israel in Egypt Oct 6 + 8, 2023 Symphony Hall
Luks Leads Beethoven Oct 27 + 29, 2023 Symphony Hall
Handel’s Messiah Nov 24 + 25 + 26, 2023 Symphony Hall
Baroque Christmas Dec 14 + 17, 2023 NEC’s Jordan Hall
The British Masters Feb 2 + 4, 2024 NEC’s Jordan Hall
Harry, Haydn + Mozart Feb 23 + 25, 2024 Symphony Hall
Beethoven 9 Mar 15 + 16, 2024 Symphony Hall
Bach + Telemann Mar 22 + 24, 2024 NEC’s Jordan Hall
Bach B Minor Mass Apr 5 + 7, 2024 Symphony Hall
Brahms Requiem Apr 19 + 21, 2024 Symphony Hall
Brandenburg Concertos May 2 + 3 + 4, 2024 Sanders Theatre &
NEC’s Jordan Hall
Individual tickets and subscription packages from 3 to 11 concerts are available with access to the best seats at great savings and may be purchased by calling 617-262.1815 or visiting www.handelandhaydn.org.
About the Handel and Haydn Society
Boston’s Grammy-winning Handel and Haydn Society is dedicated to performing Baroque and Classical music with a freshness, a vitality, and a creativity that inspires all ages. H+H has been captivating audiences for 209 consecutive seasons (the most of any performing arts organization in the United States). Today, H+H’s Orchestra and Chorus delight more than 50,000 listeners annually with a nine-week subscription series at Boston Symphony Hall and other leading venues. Through the Karen S. and George D. Levy Education Program, H+H supports seven youth choirs of singers in grades 2-12 and provides thousands of complimentary tickets to students and communities throughout Boston, ensuring the joy of music is accessible to all. H+H’s numerous free community concerts include an annual commemoration of the original 1863 Emancipation Proclamation concert on December 31. H+H has released 16 CDs on the Coro label and has toured nationally and internationally. In all these ways, H+H fulfills its mission to inspire the intellect, touch the heart, elevate the soul, and connect us with our shared humanity through transformative experiences with Baroque and Classical music.