Trinity Church Wall Street to Present Handel's MESSIAH
Trinity Church Wall Street's historically informed performances of Handel's Messiah are critical favorites; just last season, the New York Times called Trinity's rendition "the best 'Messiah' in New York." On December 20 and 21 at 7:30pm and on December 22 at 3pm, the Grammy-nominated Choir of Trinity Wall Street, Trinity Baroque Orchestra and Director of Music Julian Wachner give three accounts of Handel's masterpiece. The performance on Saturday, December 21 at 7:30pm will be streamed live on Trinity's website and Facebook Live, and will be made available on demand the following week. Performances will take place at St. Paul's Chapel at Broadway and Fulton Street and tickets can be purchased here:
Almost 250 years ago, Trinity Church Wall Street was instrumental in pioneering Handel's Messiah in the Americas, hosting one of the first American performances in 1770. Today, Wachner, The Choir of Trinity Wall Street and Trinity Baroque Orchestra rank among the foremost exponents of the perennial holiday favorite. Early music experts who play on period instruments and specialize in Baroque performance practice, they offer an authentic approach unique in its immediacy and dramatic impact. The intimate space of St. Paul's Chapel only enhances the effect. As Wachner elaborates:
"There are many elements that make Trinity's Messiah unique. We do it with period instruments, which means we're trying to use the instruments and the performance techniques that Handel might have used in the 18th century so that it sounds as Handelian as possible. We are a small choir, it's only about 24 voices, and the fact that the soloists come from the choir is also uncommon. In addition, performing Messiah in St. Paul's Chapel is a very different experience than hearing it in a concert hall. We're actually in a sacred space that dates to the time of the piece, and that's pretty incredible."
Complementing the Messiah performances, the Trinity Youth Chorus performs Benjamin Britten's A Ceremony of Carols, led by Associate Director of Music Melissa Attebury, on December 22. Trinity's holiday offerings also include a Festival of Lessons and Carols featuring the Youth Chorus, St. Paul's Chapel Choir and Downtown Voices, conducted by Associate Organist Janet Yieh, Downtown Voices conductor Stephen Sands and Melissa Attebury, on December 15.
Trinity Church Wall Street's groundbreaking music program - "the top of musical life in New York" (New York Times) - has changed the landscape of performing arts in New York City, re-envisioning the impact arts organizations have with its peerless ensembles, a uniquely broad range of expertise from early to new music performance, a long tradition of championing underrepresented composers, and an extensive and growing discography. A pioneer in amplifying the voices of female artists, Trinity has helped incubate many new compositions, including three large-scale Pulitzer Prize-winning works by women: Julia Wolfe's oratorio Anthracite Fields, Du Yun's opera Angel's Bone and Ellen Reid's opera p r i s m. Conductor and composer Julian Wachner serves as the director of music at Trinity and the principal conductor of The Choir of Trinity Wall Street, NOVUS NY and the Trinity Baroque Orchestra.
Anchor components of Trinity's music program include the midday Bach + One and Pipes at One concert series, improvised Sunday evening Compline by Candlelight services, annual performances of Handel's Messiah that the New York Times declares to be "New York's best," annual Time's Arrow and 12 Nights themed festivals, and additional new programs each season.
Trinity's musical education initiatives reach more than 400 children in New York City's underserved schools. Students perform in their local community, as well as at least once a year at Trinity, and the church offers an annual music camp for children involved with its partner organization, Hour Children. The Trinity Youth Chorus program, now in its 14th year and with 100 young singers enrolled, has its own schedule of performances and collaborations, and provides support for liturgical music, concerts and recordings. Trinity also provides opportunities for adults in the community to further their own musical education and experience, with the semiprofessional choir Downtown Voices and the volunteer St. Paul's Chapel Choir.
Concerts at Trinity are professionally filmed, streamed live in high definition, and available on-demand at http://www.trinitywallstreet.org/videos. The Rev. Dr. William Lupfer is rector and the Rev. Phillip Jackson is vicar of Trinity Church Wall Street.