Handel's Messiah

Research output: Non-traditional research outputPerformancepeer-review


Research Significance:

This was the first ever performance of George Frideric Handel's Messiah by Australia's foremost Historical Performance Orchestra, The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra (ABO) and Brandenburg Choir. Music direction by Paul Dyer, stage direction by Constantine Costi. Oratorios, unlike Operas are traditionally performed without stage action. Dyer and Costi combine the sound world of the 18th century on original instruments with contemporary costume, acting and lighting to great effect.

Research Contribution:

Dyer and Costi's collaborative interpretation of this piece challenges traditional views held about how this piece is usually performed. Costi's modern visual realisation of the Messiah prompted Dyer to deliver unique interpretation of the score, omitting parts of it he deemed dramatically unnecessary and opting for very brisk tempi. The piece was divided into 4 sections rather than the usual 3 - Darkness to Light, The Dream, Shame and Mourning, and Ecstatic Light. The result was a wholly original and succinct performance of the Messiah lasting just over 2 hours with an interval, roughly an hour less than many traditional performances and recordings.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2017


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