As I pondered this entry earlier this week, I was determined to explain why I have done Messiah for 23 straight years, especially due to my original wandering from section to section (Tenor2 to Bass1 to Bass2, back to Tenor2) since my joining the Chorus in 1986. But then I noticed that the other bloggers were focusing on those very same themes … so I am going to take a slightly different tack – YOU, the audience!
Hallelujah! Comfort ye my people! Lift up your heads!
For without you, my friends, neighbors and momentary acquaintances, there would be no Chorus, or wonderful works like Messiah, to enjoy being a part of.
You allow me to be the singer, the ham, the voyeur, the artiste (well some may argue that point). It is your good taste, your desire to be entertained and swept away in the many nuances of Handel’s masterpiece, which inspires great works. With your sparkly holiday frocks (yes, we notice you fabulous dressers) your attempts to introduce your young children and disinterested teens to the joy of music, and your secret desire to sing out the recitatives and “Hallelujah” with your smuggled score in hand, you all add to the excitement of the season.
The people that walked in darkness! Then shall the eyes of the blind be open!
I know my parents always tried to instill in my siblings and me some cultural foundations, and how that would help us in life … bring us into the light … open our eyes. With all the current discussions about what is wrong with our educational systems, you, dear audience, are doing exactly the right things as my parents, even if it sometimes seems it is only for you. Keep trying.
Why do the nations so furiously rage? Let us break these bonds asunder!
So keep up the good work. Revel in the glory of not only Messiah, but maybe also Verdi’s Requiem in January, or Scheherazade in April, or even the Pops tribute to Ray Charles in May. After all – you are the ones with good taste!
-Bob Alban, Tenor2