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  • (c) Petra Hajsk
    © Petra Hajsk
  • (c) Petra Hajsk
    © Petra Hajsk

Collegium 1704 — Händel’s Messiah

Seville, Teatro de la Maestranza — Sala Principal

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About the Event

Prepare to be captivated by an extraordinary performance of Georg Friedrich Händel's masterworks at the magnificent Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville. This immersive experience offers a unique perspective on classical music that you won't find anywhere else.

The performance will showcase Händel's Messiah, a timeless oratorio composed in 1741. Widely associated with Christmas celebrations, this piece never fails to enchant audiences, particularly when performed by exceptional musicians such as the renowned Collegium 1704. Founded in Prague in 2005 by harpsichordist Václav Luks, this Czech orchestra has gained international acclaim, making appearances at prestigious festivals and institutions including the Salzburg Festival and the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles.

With a libretto by Anglican devotee Charles Jennens, Messiah made its debut in Dublin on April 13, 1742, receiving a lukewarm response. Unlike Händel's earlier works, this oratorio broke away from the Italian influence and drew its inspiration from the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer. Composed in a remarkably short period of about three weeks, this masterpiece also bears evidence of Händel's own struggles, including the remnants of blots and stains on the original score.

Despite Händel's initial vision of a more modest ensemble, the trend during the late 18th century leaned towards grandiose performances with massive choirs comprising up to 2,000 singers and orchestras of 500 musicians. While this approach brought acclaim and solemnity to the work, it also overshadowed its subtleties, rendering it seemingly overpowering. However, in the latter half of the 20th century, the Historically Informed Performance (HIP) movement emerged, reviving the transparency and delicacy of Messiah's 53 movements. This revival reintroduced beloved pieces such as 'And the glory of the Lord,' 'O thou that tellest Good Tidings to Zion,' and 'For unto Us a Child is Born' to audiences who can fully appreciate their brilliance.

Of course, no discussion of Messiah would be complete without mentioning the iconic 'Hallelujah' chorus. Legend has it that when King George II first heard this powerful composition in 1743 at London's Covent Garden, he was so moved that he spontaneously rose from his seat. Following the king's lead, the rest of the audience also stood. Today, this tradition still holds among English‐speaking audiences, serving as a metaphorical tribute to the genius of a composer who elevated choral music to unparalleled heights.

Immerse yourself in this awe‐inspiring performance of Händel's Messiah at Seville's Teatro de la Maestranza and discover the beauty and emotion that lies within classical music.


  • Georg Friedrich Händel – Messiah
Program is subject to change


Conductor: Václav Luks
Orchestra & Choir: Collegium Vocale 1704

Georg Friedrich Händel

An English subject with German origins, Georg Handel was truly a musical pioneer, combining musical traditions of English, Italian and German composers. He was born in 1685 in Halle, Germany, into a very religious and conservative family. His father was dreaming for his son to become a lawyer and would not let young Georg play musical instruments at home. But the Duke Johann Adolf accidentally heard him playing in the chapel and convinced Georg's father to let his son receive a musical education. Thus, Handel became a pupil of the famous organ player and composer Friedrich Zachow. The first success came to Handel in 1705 when he moved to Hamburg and staged his two premiere operas, Almira and Nero, in the Oper am Gänsemarkt. Almira immediately became a highlight of the theatre and was performed around 20 times. Later next year Handel moved to Italy were he received high acclaim and was put on the same level as renowned Italian composers of the time. In 1710 Handel travelled to London where later he decided to settle down. There he wrote a sacred choral piece "Te Deum" that was played in St. Paul´s Cathedral at the ceremony devoted to signing the Utrecht Treaty. From that moment onwards he became the leading composer of England, as the country did not have any native prominent composers. His oeuvre was mainly focused on operas, but by 1730 the genre of Italian opera ceased to be popular and Handel´s success dwindled. During the last years of his life until his death in 1759 he was mainly composing oratorias, including his famous and magnificent Messiah.


Teatro de la Maestranza, Paseo de Cristóbal Colón, 22, Seville, Spain — Google Maps

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