“Let’s get one thing straight,” said the director of the Petros Singers, Richard Bannan. “We’re NOT doing The Messiah!”
Instead, the lively west London choir is focusing on the work of Handel’s librettist, Charles Jennens, for its concert on Saturday 9 December at 7.30pm at St Peter’s Church in Black Lion Lane, Hammersmith.
Jennens was the man who assembled the Biblical texts which Handel put to music in a three-week whirligig of composing for his famous work, and the Leicestershire squire remained a staunch ally of Handel’s.
After he had completed The Messiah in 1744, the composer wrote to Jennens to say: “Be pleased to point out those passages in The Messiah which you think require altering.”
So grateful was Handel to his literary collaborator that he left Jennens a substantial bequest in his will.
The Petros Singers draw on the talents of soprano Philipa Boyle – a former woodwind player in the Ealing Youth Orchestra, and baritone Robert Davies for this tribute to Jennens’ often overshadowed work, with Andrew Wells at the organ.
On the Not The Messiah programme, a sequence of Christmas anthems, motets and carols. The concert benefits The Upper Room charity at St Saviour’s Church, Shepherds Bush, helping those at risk of homelessness.
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