Hallelujah!  Messiah to be Performed at Knock for the First Time.

The trumpet shall sound on 18 November in Knock with the Basilica’s inaugural performance of Handel’s Messiah, the world’s most famous and beloved oratorio, renowned for stunning choruses and arias. Following last year’s sell-out performance of the Concert for Peace, Knock Basilica is delighted to announce the return of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra to present Handel’s ‘iconic’ Messiah.

Overflowing with the most exciting choral writing, thundering timpani and blazing trumpets, the Messiah energises audiences, and leaves them singing ‘Hallelujah’.

The first ever performance of the Messiah took place at Neal’s New Musick Hall in Dublin’s Fishamble Street in 1742. The “subscription list of six hundred persons was quite filled”, according to Handel himself, as ladies heeded pleas by management to wear dresses ‘without hoops’ in order to make ‘room for more company’ – something we trust will not be a problem at the more commodious Basilica!

Featuring the RTÉ Concert Orchestra conducted by Proinnsías Ó Duinn, with a 180-strong choir and an incomparable line up of soloists, this will be a sensational evening of delightful and thrilling music making.  The RTÉ Concert Orchestra has been introducing orchestral music to new audiences since 1948 and was voted World’s Favourite Orchestra in an international poll (Bachtrack.com, 2015).

A former member of the Salzburger Festspiele’s prestigious Young Singers Project, Soprano Claudia Boyle has dramatically raised her international profile in recent seasons through highly acclaimed performances in Zurich, Rome, London, Berlin and New York.

International Tenor Julian Hubbard’s engagements take him from Dublin to the Edinburgh and Aldeburgh Festivals, Brussels, Montepulciano, Stuttgart and to the Wigmore Hall London.

Mayo-born and based Anne Marie Gibbons appears regularly with both the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. She is a former English National Opera Company Principal and her many international credits include performances in Paris, Adelaide, Lausanne and Covent Garden, London.

Northern Ireland bass Christopher Cull is an alumnus of Queens University Belfast, The Royal Irish Academy of Music, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the National Opera Studio London. Appearances include London, Dublin, Belfast and Aberdeen.

Proinnsías Ó Duinn served as Principal Conductor with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra from 1978 to 2002 when he was appointed Conductor Laureate.  During this time he recorded commercially with both the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. His repertoire ranges from popular music to major symphonies and includes many national and world premières.  Proinnsías Ó Duinn conducts the international Messiah-Choir by invitation every year at the German city of Halle, the birthplace of Handel, and is the pre-eminent interpreter of the Messiah in Ireland.

Our Lady’s Choral Society was founded in Dublin in 1945 and in its annual performances appears regularly at the National Concert Hall with the National Orchestras.  The coming together of OLCS with members of the Ballina Chamber Choir and Cór Mhaigh Eo will create a 180-strong choir to raise the roof of the Basilica in the breathtaking choruses, such as the Hallelujah and the great Amen.