Tacoma Symphony Chorus
The audience will experience a Messiah that engages and transforms when Dr. Geoffrey Boers
conducts the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in the only complete local
performance of the great work this Holiday
season. This great work, celebrating the coming of "the Anointed One," has inspired audiences for hundreds of years. Among the most famous selections is the poignant soprano aria, "I Know That My Redeemer Liveth," and, of course, the beloved "Hallelujah Chorus."
Why does everyone stand up for this number? No, it's not the classical equivalent of the "seventh inning stretch." The possibly aprocryphal story harkens back to the London Premiere of the work, in 1742. It is told that when the opening sounds of the "Hallelujah Chorus" rang out, King George II rose to his feet, and remained standing until the end. In those days, when the King stood, everyone stood (who preferred keeping his head on his shoulders!). To this day, audiences maintain the tradition.
cast of vocal soloists – some new and some returning – will be featured in this
season’s performance. Hearing this work in the breathtaking acoustics of St. Charles Borromeo (near the Tacoma Narrows Bridge on the west side of Tacoma) is an experience not to be missed. This concert is general admission, so be sure to arrive early to get the seat (pew) of your choice!
Dr. Boers explains the
vision behind this unusual performance:
“I have been thinking a
great deal about the two-dimensional world that we live in, how much time we
spend in front of screens and how those interactions shape the way we view and
interact with the world. I can't help but feel that audiences sometimes
experience concerts passively, as if they are watching a 2-D screen, and thus
often do not interact or become impacted. How to break through and have music become three-dimensional
again is a challenge.
“After a visit to St.
Charles Borromeo, seeing the expansive and beautiful space once again, I
thought, why couldn't the Tacoma Symphony Chorus utilize the space to give this year's performance of Messiah a physical, multi-dimensional
theme -- one that incorporates movement and engages the audience in a transformational experience?
“I have designed very simple
scenes which visually suggest the drama of the text. The choir
will subtly appear and disappear as they sing the song of the Angels. They will walk in as if in a funeral
procession prior to the death march, Behold
the Lamb of God. The intimate solo sequence of Thy Rebuke Has Broken His Heart will be split between the two female
soloists, as if the two Marys (Magdalene and Christ's mother) are portraying
the text. In a careful and reverential way, we are doing visually what Handel
has already done aurally in depicting the Libretto. The result, we hope, will
be a new kind of personalization by our audience.”
Franciscan Health System, the sponsor of this performance, is also underwriting the Tacoma Art Museum's Franciscan Polar Plaza skating rink. According to Vice President of Marketing and Communications Budd Wagner, "Franciscan's mission is to create
healthier communities and heal body, mind and spirit. And we’re proud to
collaborate with Tacoma Art Museum for the Franciscan Polar Plaza and the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra
for their wonderful presentation of Handel’s Messiah. We enjoy providing
families opportunities to celebrate this special holiday