Handel's Messiah Christmas spectacular at Castlebar Church

The Castlebar concert will be headlined by the accomplished voice of soprano soloist Regina Nathan

The Castlebar concert will be headlined by the accomplished voice of soprano soloist Regina Nathan

A Christmas concert for all the family will take place at the Church of the Holy Rosary, Castlebar, on Sunday, November 25 next at 7pm when the classic and much-loved Handel's Messiah will be staged in a two-hour musical spectacular.

Hosted jointly by high profile local choir Vocalessence, with Mayo Concert Orchestra, it is destined to be an historic occasion, marking the first time a local orchestra in Mayo will perform the musical masterpiece composed in 1741 by George Frederic Handel.

Messiah - meaning the God in Christ - is a choral work known as an oratorio - an oratory through music - telling the story of the texts of the Bible through song and orchestral music.

Handel's oratorio presents oratory in music capable of thrilling audiences and was first performed in Dublin in April, 1742, receiving its London premiere nearly a year later.

After an initially modest public reception, the oratorio gained in popularity, eventually becoming one of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works in western music.

The Castlebar concert will be headlined by the accomplished voices of soprano soloist Regina Nathan, mezzo soloist Anna Louise Costello and tenor soloist Sean Tunney, while the compere is RTÉ newsreader Eileen Dunne.

Regina Nathan’s career in opera, concert and recital has taken her from her native Ireland across Europe, and as far as Kuala Lumpur and New York’s Carnegie Hall.

A devoted recitalist, Regina’s talents also embrace everything from classic Lieder to traditional Irish song.

She has enraptured audiences throughout Ireland, London’s Wigmore Hall and Purcell Room, the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris and famously with Placido Domingo to a sold-out concert at Dublin’s Point Theatre.

Her recordings include Britten, Complete Folk Song Arrangements (Hyperion ), Mahler’s Symphony No.8 (BMG ), Donizetti’s Maria de Rudenz (Opera Rara ) and of course Faith of our Fathers, alongside Frank Patterson

Nathan divides her time between Dublin, Berlin, London and her home in Co Clare

Irish mezzo-soprano Anna-Louise Costello is a graduate, with distinctions, of the DIT Conservatory of Music, Dublin, and the Royal Academy of Music, London.

Since launching her professional career in 2009, she has made a big name for herself in the world of classical and opera singing, performing at prestigious concerts in Hamburg, Berlin, London and Oslo.

Sean Tunney, in his early 20s, is starting out on his career. A native of Castlebar, he is a graduate of St Gerald's College where he set a very high standard for musical excellence during his time there under the tuition of teacher, Ms Jennifer Hiney.

Now he is looking forward to his first major performance in his home town.

Tickets (€20 ) are currently on sale for the concert and can be purchased from IT Music, Cavendish Lane, The Connaught Telegraph offices, Main Street, or by phoning the box office on (087 ) 6218282.

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