I attended this evening’s concert (Friday, Dec. 2). I came away with mixed feelings. The orchestra was, as ever, superb. The choir was, as ever, beautifully together. The soloists were, on the whole excellent, though one or two, here and there, were sharp, which may have been an acoustic problem. The sound production was not so excellent. I had occasional difficulty hearing soloists (particularly the contralto/tenor duet towards the end). But I think what ruined my experience of the concert was the fact that a group of people seated in front of me was negatively-disposed right from the start because one of their member was, quite simply, a boor, who loudly made it clear that he was (a) a boor; and (b) determined to be the center of attention because he wanted to show his wife/girlfriend that he appreciated her buying tickets for him to attend the performance even though he, personally, thought it was all crap. During the performance he unduly loudly expressed his opinion until someone told him to shut up. This, for me, illustrated quite powerfully how a bad apple in a barrel can ruin everything around it. Fortunately, based on the enthusiastic, not to say raucous, cheers from the audience as a whole at the end of each of the acts, and based on the fact that my perusal of the theater from my sequestered perch revealed that very few people left before the end, I would say that the performance was a huge success. I can’t come to any of the ensuing performances this weekend, but I would definitely find time to experience it again should this version of Messiah be staged at a venue within striking distance of where I happen to be at the time.