New Mexico Philharmonic presents three its annual performances of Handel’s “Messiah,” with two in Albuquerque and the third on Dec. 10, at 3 p.m. at Cleveland High School.
Conducted by Bradley Ellingboe, this majestic piece will be sung by the Coro Lux Chamber Chorus.
Handel composed Messiah in Dublin, as he was facing the demise of his formerly stellar career. Seeking a new approach, he was determined to embrace the new English tradition of oratorio, and in doing so, created one of the most popular and oft-performed pieces in classical music history. Upon completion of the famous “Hallelujah” chorus, he ran downstairs and exclaimed to a servant, “I think I did see Heaven before me and the great God Himself!”
Many singers and audience members may not verbalize it that way, but often report feeling strong emotions as the majesty of the music washes over them.
Ellingboe has led a wide-ranging career in the world of singing, including accomplishments as a choral conductor, soloist, composer, scholar, and teacher. As a choral conductor, he has led festival choruses in 35 states and 14 countries.
As a bass-baritone soloist, he has sung under such conductors as Robert Shaw, Helmuth Rilling, and Sir David Willcocks. Ellingboe has more than 140 pieces of music in print, including the Requiem for chorus and orchestra, which has been performed more than 300 times in this country and Europe, and his newest work, “Star Song,” which had its New York debut (Lincoln Center) in May of 2014 and its European debut in July of that year.
Coro Lux is a community chorus based in Albuquerque, founded in the fall of 2015. Under Artistic Director Ellingboe, the chorus has grown in size and scope. Coro Lux has performed in Santa Fe with the Chicago Arts Orchestra, invited high school singers to join them in performing Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna, offered two concerts at the lovely Casa Rondeña, presented the live radio drama “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and had a triumphant presentation of the previously mentioned Lauridsen in Carnegie Hall.
Single-ticket prices for the concert range from $25 to $55. Tickets are available online at nmphil.org. Purchasing online is strongly suggested.