Portsmouth Choral Union with Southern Pro Musica: Messiah

Conductor: David Gostick
Soprano: Luci Briginshaw
Bass: Edwin Kaye

Read preview notes and a review.

PCU sang The Messiah for the first time in 1896. With W.E Green as Musical Director this became an annual event for the choir until 1963, when it had been performed 68 times in consecutive years! PCU last performed it in 2015. This performance will be the 82nd by Portsmouth Choral Union. An amazing achievement!

Handel composed his most famous piece in 1741, and continued to work on it after its initial performance, finally arriving at the version we know today in 1754. Impressive solo arias, like ‘Ev’ry valley shall be exalted’ and ‘Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion’ are interspersed with compelling chorus numbers, telling the story of Jesus’ birth, life, death, resurrection, and final victory over sin and death.

Handel deliberately kept the dramatic content of his Messiah understated – it was in church after all. He created a piece based on three concepts: the story of the nativity and its prophecy; that of the crucifixion and redemption of mankind; and a commentary on the Christian soul and its victory over death.
The rousing ‘Hallelujah’ Chorus is one of the most famous pieces of Baroque choral music, and by far the most widely-known section of the work.

Tickets from the PCU website or at the door.

Soprano Luci Briginshaw was the winner of the 2021 Fulham Opera Verdi Prize and Audience Prize, and in 2019 she took Audience Prize and Second Prize at the inaugural Opera: By Voice Alone competition. Recent engagements include Contessa di Folleville in Rossini’s Il Viaggio a Reims and The Queen of Shemakha in Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Golden Cockerel for EnglishTouring Opera, and the title role in Mozart’s Constanze for West Green Opera.

Luci’s debut album, Peter Warlock Songbook, with pianist Eleanor Meynell was released in 2021 on the Convivium label. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear her sing in Portsmouth!

Meet Bass Soloist Edwin Kaye

Edwin graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music. He’s a winner of the Robert Presley Verdi Prize and has held soloist positions with State Opera Stara Zagora and State Opera Ruse and now works as a freelance soloist. This 23-24 season he has and will perform as Bluebeard in Bluebeard’s Castle with both St John’s Church, Hampstead and Regents Opera, Fafner in Siegfried with Weekend Opera Workshops and also as a cover in Regents Opera production too, Don Fernando in Fidelio with Opera Fabriken in Malmo, Angelotti inTosca with Opera Holland Park and Masetto in Don Giovanni with Regents Opera. In concert his most recent soloist works include Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, Mozart’s Requiem, Verdi’s Requiem, Stainer’s Mary Magdalene and other performances of Handel’s Messiah.

Opera Magazine called him a “…young bass whose mature breadth of tone and phrasing lent him unquestionable authority” as Padre Guardiano in La Forza del Destino.

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The PCU is one of the leading amateur choruses in the South of England. The choir comprises 120 singers of all voice types. We always welcome new talent.
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