Last Wednesday, the University of Dublin Choral Society offered us an opportunity to bask in the holiday atmosphere with their annual Christmas concert. After a successful performance of Mozart’s Requiem last November, Trinity’s largest and oldest Choir was back with another delightfully classical musical treat.
This year’s concert was a new venture for the choir, as instead of their usual Christmas Carol performance, they chose to pay a tribute to one of Dublin’s longest-lasting Christmas tradition, Handel’s Messiah. Since 1742, when it was first performed just a stone’s throw from Wednesday’s venue of Trinity’s chapel, Dublin’s loyalty to the composer has been unfailing.
An eager queue was already forming well before the opening of the doors. Enthusiasm was slowly building up as the audience made their way into the intimate yet commanding venue. Handel’s uplifting yet challenging work was beautifully rendered, despite a short rehearsal time of three weeks.
While the choir’s talent and hard work was visibly not lost on the audience, soloists Judith Lyons (soprano), Gina Oberoi (alto), Luke Horner (tenor) and Eoghan Desmond (bass) did not disappoint with their remarkably controlled and moving interpretation. David Leigh’s customary expertise as a conductor was the finishing touch to this truly enjoyable performance.
As required by tradition, the audience stood up as one for the celebrated “Halleluia” chorus, and as such an early Christmas gift commanded, the end of the show was met with thunderous applause.
Although the price of the tickets may have turned some of us off (11 euros for students, 15 for adults), the proceeds were in aid of the Simon Community.