Standing Up for Handel's Messiah

Dec 22nd, 2002, 06:41 PM
david S
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Standing Up for Handel's Messiah

I've posted this question on both the European and U.S. threads as well, in the hope that all who read it will find themselves sufficiently imbued with the Christmas spirit to treat it as a serious question falling (if only just barely) into the travel category.

The question is: Do audiences in your area stand up for the singing of the Hallelujah Chorus at performances of Handel's Messiah? We do in Toronto, and I'm wondering if this is a local affectation or something a little more universal, inspired perhaps by the (probably apocryphal) reaction of George II of England who is alleged to have arisen at the beginning of the Chorus at the first ever performance of the Messiah.

Thanks and a Merry Christmas (or whatever politically correct salutation suits your sensitivities during this season) to all who choose to respond.

David S
Dec 23rd, 2002, 05:44 AM
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At every performance of the Messiah I have attended in New York City, people have stood for the Hallelujah chorus. I do think this is standard - although I didn't remember the reason why so thanks for providing it. Merry Christmas.
Dec 23rd, 2002, 06:48 AM
Brian Kilgore
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My wife says it is the equivalent of the seventh inning stretch.

I think she may have a point, since I was getting pretty sore-bummed on a pew in Orangeville (that justifies this as a travel thread, since I drove up from Oakville)a week ago yesterday.

Anyway, yes, in Orangeville, but the orchestra and at least one of the soloists was from Toronto, with the choir being local.

(Orangeville's about 40 miles from Toronto)

Dec 24th, 2002, 03:55 AM
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The amateur choir that I sing in often programs the Hallelujah Chorus (fortunately not the entire oratorio, given that we're not overflowing with talent) at the end of our Christmas concert, thus ensuring a standing ovation. It's cheating, but our conductor likes it.
Dec 31st, 2002, 06:25 AM
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Just attended the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra and Chorus production of the Messiah at the Basilica of St. John the Bapist here in St. John's and, Yes, we all stood (and then sat again for the post-chorus finish). Very moving and the sixteenth year in a row for this performance in this splendid old cathedral.

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