The Story Behind Handel’s Messiah



Here in Sydney we’re more likely to hear Handel’s Messiah performed at Christmas rather than at Easter. Yet, a significant portion of this oratorio is centred on the Passion, and it’s premiere was in April 1742, in Dublin. 

Subsequently, Messiah became associated with London’s Foundling Hospital for orphans, where Handel directed a performance of it on May 1, 1750 to commemorate the presentation of the organ to the chapel. Handel was later elected a Governor of the hospital and bequeathed to the charity a full score of his masterpiece.

Caro Howell director of the Foundling Museum writes about the history behind Messiah.



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