Hello and welcome to the PSO’s blog chronicling the staging process of Handel’s Messiah. I am Mark Addleman, Audience Engagement Assistant, student of music, and PSO concertgoer. I am incredibly excited to see this rare staging of the Messiah on Dec. 2 – 4. This kind of theatrical performance does not happen often – only twice in the past 26 years: in London (2009) and prior to that in Berlin (1985)!
Stage Director Sam Helfrich worked with choir members and soloists alike to physically show them what he has envisioned.At one point, soprano Laura Heimes interacts with the female members of the choir and all of them hastily throw down their aprons! Three of the soloists (mezzo-soprano Lindsay Ammann, tenor William Ferguson, and bass Philip Cutlip) serve punch to the party-going choir members – it will be non-alcoholic during the performances!
Based on the hour of rehearsal that I observed, the innovative interpretation and settings of Handel’s Messiah should not be missed. This was only the sixth rehearsal and in a rehearsal room at Heinz Hall, not on stage. There are many more rehearsals planned for the soloists, choir, and directors. The week leading up to the performances will be the first time this collaboration will be seen or heard on the stage of Heinz Hall. Check back in to the PSO blog for more updates as the clock ticks closer to showtime.