The New Theatre Royal hosted the News Guide Awards on Monday 29th January 2018, recognising talent across Portsmouth.
The Pompey Messiah explored the impact of Handel’s Messiah on the culture of Portsmouth in the early 1800s through two exhibitions, a public lecture and the recreation of a performance that was first given in Portsmouth in 1812.
Messiah is not only a highly popular classic: such grand performances, staged long after Handel’s death, established a new culture of massed singing that survives to this day. In 1812, the great diva, Angelica Catalani, made the ‘Pompey Messiah’ her own by deviating from Handel’s text. So, the performance was more than a recreation of an old masterpiece but a living research project, led by Dr George Burrows, that explored the reception of diva performance and celebrated the long-lasting culture of musical participation in our great city.
The Pompey Messiah Project also helped to raise £5000 for local charities.
The University of Portsmouth Choir will be performing again to celebrate Leonard Berstein’s centenary, on 17th March, at St Mary’s Church.