While most orchestras play an amalgam or one of several pre-1750 versions of Handel’s Messiah, Nic and Philharmonia will perform Handel’s final version – the “Foundling Hospital” version.
George Frideric Handel was a strong supporter of the Foundling Hospital in London during the 1750s. In the later years of his life, Handel performed Messiah in the hospital chapel annually as a fundraiser for the organization. Minor edits continued throughout these performances and are considered the composer’s last thoughts on Messiah. He left this final manuscript to the hospital, which still owns it today.
If you are most familiar with the standard edition of Messiah we hope you will be delighted to note the slight variations in the vocal performance. The Foundling Hospital version more heavily features the soprano. Guest soloist Amanda Forsythe joins us along with Meg Bragle, Isaiah Bell, Philip Cutlip and our wonderful Philharmonia Chorale to perform this rare Foundlings Hospital version.
Combined with historically-informed performances on period instruments and the effervescent direction of Nic McGegan, Messiah with McGegan will offer a fresh and joyful expression of this traditional masterpiece the way Handel would have played it for the foundlings at the end of his life.
Nicholas McGegan, conductor
Amanda Forsythe, soprano
Meg Bragle, mezzo-soprano
Isaiah Bell, tenor
Philip Cutlip, baritone
Bruce Lamott, director