Last night I went to and participated in the Do-It-Yourself Messiah at the Harris Theater. I do not sing in a choir. I do not sing in a band. I do not sing. But I love to listen to other people sing! So to be surrounded by people who do sing was therapeutic. The sound was filled with happiness and grace.
I was with my longtime friends. I was with teachers who, in the last few days, have asked themselves important questions and ran through mental fire drills all while finishing up the crazy days of holiday musicals and parties. These were also people who have been through emotional hardships this year. I was with people who have been through life. Real life. All of the ups and downs, highs and lows of raising a family and being part of a family. We are all daughters, and wives, and mothers. I hold them up, they hold me up.
SO sitting in the middle of Handel's Messiah, singing or not, was peaceful and distracting from what goes on outside. The soloists were terrific and the crowd/choir was enthusiastic. It was really reasonable to buy a ticket ($15 and handling fees) and there were many people outside with extras tickets if you feel the urge to go to the second performance tonight. Some were giving them away and saying "Merry Christmas". And some were just charging face value. No crazy scalping on this holiday eve.
The conductor comes out and gives a few instructions and tells a few jokes. He warns us against being too diva-ish! haha no worries. This is freakishly complex. Did I forget to tell you that you have to actually read music or you just stand there like me.
All of these people can actually sing. Can you spot the imposter? Right. I am taking the picture so you won't be able to...
Introductions of the orchestra are made...and a one and a two....actually it didn't sound a thing like Lawrence Welk. They were fabulous. And they have the stamina to play for almost 3 hours. Yes, almost 3 hours. It is long, but with lots of interaction and singing. If you appreciate beautiful voices and the camaraderie of a choir (and reading complicated music) you will enjoy this.
The soloists were terrific and professionals. This soprano had been participating in this for 13 years. The Do-It-Yourself Messiah has been going on for 30 years.
Their vocal range is amazing. And since we were in the 3rd row, you can see how much of their physical body it takes to belt it out. Note to self...don't sit in the 3rd row. You can't fake singing as well. They can actually see you.
He didn't really look like a ghost. (I tried to take pictures without much distraction so the lighting and the angle didn't help.)
This little one was pooped by the end of the night. I have to give it to her parents though. Culture never hurts.
The tickets for this event sell out pretty fast so if you are organized, and want to go next year, put it in your calendar to check the website and call for tickets mid-November. They sold out in less than 48 hours. But as I said, plenty of people have a change of plans with the holidays and had extra tickets with them to sell. If you really want to go, there should be no problem to just show up. 7:00 pm Harris Theater on Randolph St. on the north end of Millennium Park.
Halleluia! Halleluia! Halle-e-lu-u-u-ia! Darn. That's the end.