by Adam McKinney for OLY ARTs
As the winter months descend on the world, the cold and darkness is met with a combination of reverie and revelry. Nights get quieter, and the solitude is countered with companionship and sacred celebration.
A singular holiday celebration is the annual singing of Handel’s Messiah, an oratorio from the mid-18th century. Messiah‘ s enduring popularity can be credited to its timeless beauty. Utilizing orchestra and choir, the piece excels at capturing the combination of joy and solemnity that defines winter, bouncing from pomp to somber reflection and back again.
While its libretto comes from a combination of the King James Bible and the Book of Common Prayer, Messiah can be enjoyed by nonbelievers as well as those of the Christian faith. Its three-act depiction of the life and death of Jesus may resonate more with those versed in the story, but it remains a moving staple for more than its religious imagery.
Student Orchestras of Greater Olympia will stage Messiah at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts. In a special twist on the classic oratorio, this production of Messiah is billed as an annual sing-along.
Audience members are encouraged to join in, if they wish, or to simply sit back and let the gorgeous music wash over them. The event is free, but guests are invited to purchase a copy of the score for a mere $10. Whether you view this as a religious celebration or simply want to take part in a soulful community experience, this Messiah is well worth your time.
WHAT Messiah Sing-Along
WHERE Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 512 Washington St. SE, Olympia
WHEN 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 18
HOW MUCH Free
LEARN MORE 360-753-8585 | washingtoncenter.org