Friday, December 10, 2010

Handel's Messiah - Orchestra Nova Honors the Masterpiece

Ah, Messiah! The emotions it elicits are so varied and so wonderful. I grew up in a small town in Kansas and never heard it performed live until I was a part of a performance as a soprano in college. I remember the joy of singing “And the glory….” and the chills I felt as everyone stood when we sang “Hallelujah.” At the time, I didn’t realize that it had become a tradition for everyone to stand with the first note of “Hallelujah” because that’s what the King of England did the first time he heard it performed.

Orchestra Nova’s annual performance, with the fantastic Bach Collegium chorus, is truly one of the most memorable and wonderful experiences I’ve had with Messiah. I remember a very poignant moment during our performance at St. James by-the-Sea church in La Jolla last year. I had moved up to toward the front on an aisle to ask someone with a video camera to stop recording the performance because it was very disruptive to their neighbors and we have a strict policy against cameras because of our agreement with the musicians.

As everyone stood for “Hallelujah,” I saw a man, probably in his 50s, put his arm around the woman beside him and pull her close. She laid her head on his shoulders and tears rolled down both their faces as the chorus was sung. And right behind them was a family with two children, the parents with their arms around the children, all beaming with big wide smiles.

I thought – “this is what music is all about, especially this great music by Handel – it’s all about bringing beauty and joy into the lives of everyone.” This has been Jung-Ho Pak’s message from the very beginning: we’re here to bring beauty and joy into the lives of people from every walk of life.

This weekend’s three performances of Handel’s Messiah are guaranteed to do just that. I can’t wait!!

Beverly Lambert
Marketing Director and Interim Executive Director

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