Handel's Messiah - the first performance
It is well known that the first performance of Handel's Messiah took place in Dublin, in 1742. What is not well known is why he chose Dublin and the circumstances surrounding Messiah's premiere. The results of this research on Handel's Messiah were presented a CBC radio programme which was aired at Christmas 2003. The program was aired as two separate segments and these audio segments.
Chryssa McAlister spent the summer between her first and second year of medicine at Dalhousie University in Dublin, investigating the first performance of Handel's Messiah. Dublin is a city of incredible history, whose buildings and monuments tell stories of war, famine, and independence but also art and culture. She went to investigate Handel's visit to Dublin in the archives of the National Library, Trinity College Library and Marsh's Library.
Throughout Handel's life, he was closely associated with numerous medical and non-medical charities. Handel arranged to donate the proceeds of Messiah's first performance to three charities: the Society for Relieving Prisoners, the Charitable Infirmary and Mercer's Hospital. In the years following his first visit to Dublin, Handel would continue to donate his score of Messiah and allow performances of his music for the benefit of numerous charitable foundations.
Chryssa McAlister used her research on Handel's Messiah for a program for CBC radio which was aired at Christmas 2003. The program was aired as two separate segments. The two audio files and the transcript are included in this collection.
Copyright 2003 Chryssa McAlister