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Messiah – The Arts Desk Review

★★★★

Simon Thompson, The Arts Desk

‘Almost every city in the UK has its annual Christmas Messiah, but there can’t be any as stylish or as polished as this one.’

Read the full review here.

Messiah – The Scotsman Review

★★★★★

David Kettle, The Scotsman

‘This was a fresh, searching Messiah, brisk and vivid, and delivered as if its ink was still wet.’

Read the full review here.

Events

Acis & Galatea

rLove, jealousy, tragedy and transfiguration — Acis & Galatea has it all. So it is no surprise that Handel’s ‘little opera’, as he called it, was his most popular stage work during his lifetime. It was his first major setting of a substantial English text and would become the prototype for the English oratorio, which earned Handel such fame in the latter part of his career. Performed by Dunedin Consort in the original ‘Cannons’ version with one-per-part choruses — which Gramophone called ‘utterly magical’ — Handel’s glorious music gleams anew.

A Lover’s Discourse

In love, as in music, we find ourselves in a multitude of hazy, transcendental states, neither here nor there. ‘We are enchanted, bewitched: we are in the realm of sleep, without sleeping; we are within the voluptuous infantilism of sleepiness: this is the moment for telling stories.’ So says Roland Barthes in his sweeping and ecstatic examination of human love, A Lover’s Discourse. Join us for a unique and transformative experience, as we pair Barthes’ vivid recitations with madrigals by Monteverdi, Gesualdo and Marenzio, a specially commissioned film by Arms & Legs, and Pippa Murphy’s evocative new score.

Matthew Passion

Described as ‘the most sought-after evangelist of his generation’, Nicholas Mulroy has been central to our annual Matthew Passion performances for more than a decade. This year, in a Dunedin Consort first, he takes the helm as director, combining his unparalleled gift for storytelling with a musicality that is touching and inspiring in equal measure. Performed in Dunedin Consort’s celebrated one-to-a-part interpretation, Bach’s masterpiece is at its most powerful — a glorious work of optimism, hope, togetherness and salvation.

Welcome to all the Pleasures

A 25th birthday calls for a rousing celebration and we intend to mark it in suitable style. Joins us for a celebratory event centred around Purcell’s magnificent Welcome Odes, in the company of a host of Dunedin favourites and friends from over the years. Music by Handel, Corelli and Blow completes this virtuosic feast — the perfect showcase for our wonderful singers and instrumentalists.

And, like all good birthdays, this one will end with a great party. We hope you will join us after our concert at Greyfriars Kirk for a slice of cake, a glass or two of bubbles and a late-night celebration.

The Trials of Love

Two tales of love — both tragedies in their own ways — are brought together in this coupling of baroque cantatas. From a woman so lovestruck that she can only find solace in nature, as in Bella madre de’ fiori, to the tragic tale of Daphne, who tries and fails to resist Apollo’s advances and is transformed into a laurel tree, her branches watered forever by his tears. These extraordinary tales of passion and penitence are rendered by Handel and Scarlatti in music of searing intensity, their rapturous obbligato writing by turns, playful, poignant and seductive.

Edinburgh Choral Workshop

We are delighted to be bringing back our choral workshops in 2022. These sessions are the perfect way to explore some new repertoire in a relaxed and enjoyable way. Since most of us have been without regular singing for more than a year, we’ll also devote some time to vocal health and share tips on how to get your vocal cords safely back into shape.

Led by celebrated soprano and teacher Mhairi Lawson, this year’s workshops focus on Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas. Although the opera is most famous for Dido’s lament, the chorus gets some of the best music, commentating on the action as the lovers move through the frisson of early courtship to the heartbreaking conclusion of their affair.

Although some choral experience is helpful, these workshops are open to anyone who would like to improve their choral singing and learn some new repertoire. Join us for a relaxed, fun-filled day of music making, and the chance to share what you’ve learned with friends and family at the end of the day.

Ticket price includes score hire and light refreshments throughout the day.

Timetable

09:30 — Registration

10:00-13.00 — Session 1

14:00-16.15 — Session 2

16.30 — Informal performance for friends and family