The soloists were stellar, the best I've heard in a while, as was the conductor, and I'm not ashamed to say, so was the choir! This is the second time that i Coristi and Da Camera have joined forces for the annual Christmas production of Messiah, and by all accounts, including comments from the orchestra players themselves, it was one of the best choirs assembled for the production.
It got me wondering - as many choral musicians do, how many performances of Messiah I have done. I've sung it on and off now for about 25 years, first as a treble in Ottawa, then later a few times as a countertenor, and in the last 10 years, on and off as a tenor, or countertenor (this last production I sang alto, just to add a bit of beef to it - as it can be quite low for most chorus altos - and I tell ya, it's a whole lot of fun!)
So, unofficially, here is the count of Messiah performances I have sung:
from approximately 1983-1997 (while in Ottawa with various choirs) - I'm guessing about seven performances total
From 1997-2008 (Edmonton ) - this is a bit more precise
With Richard Eaton Singers - two productions, five performances
With Pro Coro Canada - three productions, five performances
With Madrigal Singers - two productions, four performances
With Da Camera Singers - one production, two performances
As a conductor - one "sing-along" concert with chamber orchestra - and a choir of ... 600+?
Total - 16 productions, 25 performances of Messiah in the last twenty-five years.
By no means a world record, but not bad for someone who isn't forty yet. I suspect there will be a few more performances before I'm done.
Unlike some people who have blogged about Messiah in recent years - I'll never tire of it!
For the record:
Number of times I've sung just the Hallelujah Chorus? Unknown.
Number of times I've sung along, or conducted along, with the Paul McCreesh recording after a few glasses of wine? - Classified.