Messiah has been going really well. Opening night -- which I did not sing -- received one of the best reviews I've ever seen of a Cathedral Choral Society performance:
"In general, the choral singing was more involving than the orchestral playing. Indeed, the NSO sounded rather stiff in its solo numbers -- the Overture and the "Pastoral Symphony" -- and only really let loose in "Hallelujah!," where a booming emphasis was placed on brass, timpani and organ. But the chorus sounded fresh, eager, healthy and fluent throughout the evening. Even the most difficult passages (such as the stratospheric soprano line in "And He shall purify") rolled trippingly off a hundred tongues."
I don't doubt it was an excellent performance, but I have to wonder if the reviewer was overcompensating just a teensy bit for forgetting to mention us in his review of our last Kennedy Center performance back in September.
The Friday performance (my first) went pretty well, but the consensus seemed to be that it was not quite as good as Thursdays. I could have done better, that's for sure. But tonight, we killed. Literally! We're all now under indictment for manslaughter in the District of Columbia.
Well, OK, that's a lie. Nevertheless, it was excellent, and the audience was really enthusiastic. The chorus got the loudest ovation during the curtain call. But that stands to reason. When you go to see Messiah, you're not going because you want to hear the orchestra or the soloists; you're going to hear "And the Glory of the Lord" and "For Unto Us a Child Is Born" and "Hallelujah" and the other choruses. The success or failure of Messiah rests on our shoulders! (Not to mention the government. Ha! That's a little Messiah humor there.) We have the power! And thus we get the glory. Works for me!