Handel’s epic 'Messiah' to be performed at Dubai Opera

The celebrated work will be presented in full by the St Petersburg Tchaikovsky Theatre of Ballet Orchestra

George Frederic Handel (1685-1759) German-born composer who settled in England. Portrait of 1726-1728 attributed to Balthasar Denner (1726-1749). Oil on canvas. (Photo by: Photo 12/UIG via Getty Images)

One of the world’s most renowned musical works will be performed in Dubai Opera in December.

Handel's Messiah will be presented in its full glory by St Petersburg Tchaikovsky Theatre of Ballet Orchestra at the Downtown venue on December 8.

The company will be joined by Dubai Opera’s Festival Chorus, which means there will be up to 200 people – from musicians to singers – on stage performing the spectacular piece of work.

The occasion will mark another milestone for the venue's in-house opera, which proved its vocal chops with a well-received performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony as part of BBC Proms Dubai last month.

When it comes to the orchestra from Russia, the show will mark a satisfying end to their Dubai Opera run of shows, which includes a staging of The Nutcracker from December 4 to 7.

What is so special about Handel’s Messiah?

Following its debut in 1742 in Dublin, the piece has gone on to be performed in both instrumental and vocal forms ever since. Remarkably, despite its immediate success, Handel had no inclination that the work would be a career landmark; indeed, the German composed the piece almost as an experiment.

Written over the course of 24 days, Messiah was more abstract than Handel's previous oratorios as it painted an enigmatic picture of spirituality with its joy and struggles. That hands-off approach worked as listeners were able to glean their own meanings from the sweeping and rich nature of the score. By the time the epic 'hallelujah' chorus arrives, it is a moment that should elicit goosebumps.

In his study of Handel's work, the late American-Hungarian musicologist Henry Lang described Messiah as "perhaps the only major work about which public sentiment is unanimous. Its freshness, its warmth, its beautifully rounded forms and sculptured melodies offer universal experience to men of all walks of life and all shades of faith."

With the show falling during the festive season, Dubai Opera chief executive Jasper Hope says the production should offer concert goers a moment of reflection.

“It provides a moment during the busy season to experience reflection, renewal and joy,” he said

“I am delighted we are able to present this wonderful piece of music with a combined force of 200 local and international voices and musicians during the UAE’s Year of Tolerance.”

Handel’s Messiah by St Petersburg Tchaikovsky Theatre of Ballet Orchestra and Dubai Opera Festival chorus will ve performed at Dubai Opera on December 8. Tickets begin from Dh175 from www.dubaiopera.com