To get a han­dle on Mes­siah

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - REAL ESTATE - Shane Nichols

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.

Pic­ture: SHANE NICHOLS

Al­teouise De Vaughn re­hearses the choir for Han­del's Mes­siah in Port Dou­glas

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