Messiah by George Frideric Handel was first performed in Dublin in the spring of 1742. After a rather modest reception in London, the work was eventually regarded as a triumph and has become one of the Western world's most performed and loved choral works.
Messiah was one of Handel's own favourites. He conducted the oratorio himself a number of times, often adapting it to the occasion. Handel experts Malcolm Bruno and Caroline Ritchie are now completing the first published edition of the authentic original Messiah, which will premiere at the 2017 Bergen International Festival. Here Messiah will be presented as first conceived, as an operatic entertainment, with all the extended, virtuosic arias that reveal the operatic feel of the 1740s London stage.
The Bergen International Festival and Bergen National Opera present the premiere performance, created by director, designer and video artist Netia Jones, known for her originals stagings of classical works.
Four outstanding sololists, the early music ensemble Baroque Soloists and the vocal ensembles Edvard Grieg Choir and Cathedra are led by Bjarte Eike. Choir master Michael McCarthy, director of music at Washinton National Cathedral and known for his association with the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter film, has adapted the choral parts of Messiah.