To get a handle on Messiah
SO Alteouise, is it true the choir’s been practising Messiah for three years?
Ms De Vaughn, renowned mezzosoprano and unoffficial music director for the Douglas district, laughs at the whole idea of it. “Ha, ha, that’s right! “We‘ve done it for three years and each year we keep adding on a chorus – this year we’ve added on three new choruses.” The Tropical Queensland Oratorio is rehearsing for a performance of Handel’s perennial popular favourite, Messiah, at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Endavour St on Sunday, December 6, at 2 pm.
Handel’s famous oratorio comes in various “sizes”, and the current state of the Tropical Oratorio’s Messiah is heading for the big end of the scale, as the ambitious Alteoulelujah” ise pushes the choir to ever greater heights.
For Ms De Vaughn, whose schedule is always more intense around the highlights of the annual religious calendar, such as Christmas and Easter, the Messiah is an essential part of Christmas dating back to her earliest childhood.
So when members of the choir asked to learn the “Hal- chorus, “I thought we might as well learn all of the Messiah, it’s such fabulous music.
“When I first heard it, it was like the heavens opened up. It ascends and just keeps going, higher and higher, and you think the sopranos can’t go any higher but they do go higher, it’s so exciting, just beautiful.”
Handel’s Messiah is in three parts, and now the choir has absorbed Part 1 (Christmas) and the Hallelujah chorus from Part 2 (Easter). Any thought of Part 3, she says, “is way down the line”.
She is especially proud of the soloists, who “have worked very hard”.
This project is funded by RADF. The Regional Arts Development Fund is a Queensland Government through Arts Queensland and Douglas Shire Council partnership to support local arts and culture.
Alteouise De Vaughn rehearses the choir for Handel's Messiah in Port Douglas