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Handel’s ‘Messiah’ to be performed for 140th time in Ann Arbor Dec. 7, 8

Annual performance will bring large crowds, UMS Choral Union, A2SO to Hill Auditorium

The University Musical Society Choral Union in Hill Auditorium. (University Musical Society Choral Union)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – On Dec. 7 and 8, the University Musical Society Choral Union and the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra will be joined by special soloists during two joint-productions of George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah.”

A regular holiday season occurrence in Ann Arbor, the 300-year-old composition is known internationally for its biblical influences and powerful musical themes. Performances of “Messiah” began in Ann Arbor in 1941.

Joining the 175 voices of the UMS and the A2SO this year are soprano Jeanine De Bique, mezzo-soprano Allegra De Vita, tenor Taylor Stayton and bass-baritone Philippe Sly.

Opera-like in nature, the vivacious oratorio invokes colorful imagery through its 53 musical movements, organized into three lengthy parts. Parts of “Messiah” have been produced annually since 1849 by the UMS Choral Society. Full performances began in 1941.

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The performance will be conducted by Scott Hanoinian, musical director and conductor of the UMS Choral Union.

The first performance on Handel’s “Messiah” will be on Dec. 7 at 8 p.m., with the second performance taking place Dec. 8 at 2 p.m.

Tickets for both performances cost between $16 and $45 but discounted tickets are available for students.

Tickets can be bought online here or through the UMS ticket office.

Hill Auditorium is at 825 North University Avenue.