Bath’s acclaimed Paragon Singers choir has come up with something for many of us to join in and sing about.
On behalf of the chamber group, Theatre Director Tom Guthrie and Music Director Sarah Latto are proud to announce Messiah 250 – a reshaping of this popular work that goes beyond the concert hall.
It was a project initially conceived in 2019, but two years of covid-related delays have allowed the organisers to rethink the nature of the work for a contemporary audience struggling with the demands of uncertainty and loss.
The project is supported by Arts Council England and local benefactors and offers the community the opportunities afforded by new technologies to interpret this work differently.
Students from Bath Spa University film unit will document the rehearsals and a film will be made following the process through to performance.
The project culminates in a dramatisation of Messiah on Saturday 5 March, 2022, in the beautiful surroundings of St. Swithin’s Church, Bath.
With community at its heart, Messiah 250 includes a series of workshops, a Taster day for complete beginners, a Come and Sing Messiah day, a day for younger singers at Bath Spa University and a partnership with Julian House homelessness service.
The project also celebrates Bath’s historical association with Handel’s Messiah.
It recognises the contribution of William Herschel who, as a musician in the latter part of the eighteenth century, presented Messiah to the citizens of Bath. Later his discovery of Uranus enabled him to devote his future career to astronomy. Since then, there have been annual performances of this oratorio in the city through war and epidemic until the present day.
Theatre Director Tom Guthrie is an internationally acclaimed singer, writer, violinist and artistic director of the charity Music and Theatre for All.
Music Director Sarah Latto has worked with Ex Cathedra, Genesis Sixteen, Trinity Laban Chamber Choir and the National Youth Choir of Great Britain, alongside founding and directing Echo Vocal Ensemble.
Paragon Singers originated in 1976 with a group of eight friends meeting in a flat opposite The Paragon in Bath. The choir specialises in Renaissance, Baroque and contemporary music and has gained a reputation as a leading chamber group in these fields in the south-west.