Sandrine Piau Soprano
Anthea Pichanick Mezzo-soprano
Kresimir Spicer Tenor
Bozidar Smiljanic Bass-Baritone
Le Concert Spirituel
Hervé Niquet Conductor
While Messiah is Handel’s most famous work, the oratorio was composed rapidly for a premiere in Dublin in 1742. The London premiere of Messiah (March 1743) did not meet with the success of the Dublin creation. Performing this highly religious work in a theatre could only upset puritans. King George II, however, was so moved by the Hallelujah that he stood up, soon followed by the entire audience and all British audiences since then.
Messiah, regularly performed for charity concerts, would soon become Handel’s landmark composition. Performed 36 times during his lifetime, it soon came to embody all that is majestic and sublime in music. Charles Jennens constructed the libretto dedicated to Christ in three parts: Nativity; Passion and Resurrection; Redemption. The ideal combination of soloist arias and choirs is admirable and Handel’s science of lyric music is deployed in both suave and victorious arias, among the composer’s finest. The memorable chorales have remained in our ears for 250 years… Messiah met with resounding success when it was created on April 13th and for the repeat concert on June 3rd, the demand for tickets was such that gentlemen were asked “not to wear their sword” and ladies to come “in dresses without hoops to allow room for a larger audience and thus increase benefits intended for charitable purposes”.
Dedicated to Christ and based on sacred texts, Messiah is an eminently religious work with no liturgical form. A sacred theatrical work, without the drama of historical oratorios, it expresses beautifully the fervor reminiscent of Handel’s Italian period, with the mark of English sacred music traditions and of the operas which Handel introduced to London. The beauty of the arias was immediately noted in Dublin and for the grand alto aria “He was despised”, Reverend Delany stood up in the audience, stirred by emotion and cried out to the singer “Woman, for this, may all your sins be forgiven”. Incomparable and indispensable Messiah.
After regularly performing the Water Music and Fireworks Music, Hervé Niquet comes back to Messiah, which he performed in a series of concerts more than 20 years ago: the CD published last year, after its long inception, is full of energy and stamina!
Georg Friedrich Haendel (1685-1759)
Royal ChapelMore info
PRESTIGE CATEGORY: Excellent seats with complimentary glass of champagne and programme.
PRESTIGE VIP CATEGORY: Best seats in house with complimentary glass of champagne and programme.
Please note that some 3rd category seats have limited visibility.
To ensure the best welcome possible, people with limited mobility are advised to book their seats by telephone at +33 (0)1 30 83 78 89.
REDUCED RATE applicable to under 26s, Chateau de Versailles Spectacles card holders and groups of more than 10 people (excluding special company offer).
Holders of the 2 day Chateau de Versailles passport: reduced rate applicable to reservation by telephone only at +33 (0)1 30 83 78 89 or directly on site on the day of the event (subject to availability).
→ Detailed conditions on the Chateau de Versailles website
In case of any technical problem, the box office service remain available to complete your order by phone at +33 (0)1 40 83 78 89 (Monday-Friday from 10 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to 6 pm).