Doors open 5:45pm, no pre-concert talk, EARLY START TIME OF 6:30pm

Dunedin Consort
Saturday December 14th 2019

This is one of our 6 subscription series concerts, and is included within a member’s subscription ticket. NOTE THE EARLY START TIME OF 6:30pm.

Handel’s Messiah at Christmas Time

Overview: Handel’s ‘Messiah’, a  monumental Baroque masterpiece, laced with so much favourite and well loved music, was composed in just 24 days. 53 assorted arias, choruses and recitatives took just over 3 weeks of 1741 to be created.

At the first performance in Dublin in April 1742, gentlemen were requested to remove their swords and ladies were requested not to wear hoops in their dresses so that as many as possible could be crammed into the hall. No such dress code restrictions will be needed in Kendal on the 14th of December 2019.

John Butt – conductor

Rachel Redmond soprano, Jess Dandy contralto, Nicholas Mulroy tenor, Roland Wood baritone


Our Christmas concert starts earlier than usual at 6:30pm, and features one of the greatest and most popular choral works ever composed – Handel’s Messiah. This massive work consist of 3 Parts, 16 Scenes and a mere 53 movements, based on themes from the Bible. Although first performed in Dublin in 1742 it was not actually finished until 1745 – the year of the Jacobite Rebellion.

Handel’s (1685–1759) ability to capture a mood, from passionate rage to serene pastoral moments, is what makes this one of the most enduring choral works of all time. The rousing Hallelujah Chorus at the end of Part II is one of the most famous pieces of Baroque choral music. A tradition, allegedly started by King George II in 1743 is, if you are able to, to stand for this chorus and sing along. Why not? Who are we to break a 276 year old tradition?

Dunedin Consort

The performance tonight will be by the Dunedin Consort, Scotland’s leading baroque ensemble. The Dunedin Consort was founded in 1995 and is named after Din Eidyn, the ancient Celtic name of Edinburgh Castle. Under the musical direction of John Butt, the ensemble has performed at major festivals and in the UK, Canada, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, Israel and France, (and also in Kendal Town Hall). In addition to performing Baroque and Classical repertoire and researching specific historical performance projects, the ensemble has commissioned and performed works by numerous contemporary composers, including William Sweeney, Errollyn Wallen, Peter Nelson and Sally Beamish.

Roland Wood
Rachel Redmond
Nicholas Mulroy
Jess Dandy


Our “impressively silken” (The Times) soprano will be Glaswegian Rachel Redmond. The contralto will be Jess Dandy, winner of the London Bach Society Singers Prize 2017 and Oxford Lieder Young Artist 2018. Liverpudlian tenor Nicholas Mulroy, has sung at many of the world’s great concert halls including Sydney Opera House, Boston Symphony Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Royal Albert Hall, Berlin Philharmonie and the Salzburg Festival. Baritone Roland Wood was born in Berkshire. In 2003 he represented England in the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. He regularly sings with English National Opera, where his roles have included Kissinger (Nixon in China), Marcello (La bohème), Alfio (Cavalleria rusticana), Zurga (The Pearl Fishers), Paolo Albiani (Simon Boccanegra), Count Almaviva (The Marriage of Figaro), Speaker and Papageno (The Magic Flute), Bunyan/Pilgrim (The Pilgrim’s Progress), Don Fernando (Fidelio) and Oedipus (Thebans).