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Nov. 17, 2011

Contact Jean Saladino at 608-796-3771 or 

Viterbo to Present Handel’s Messiah Dec. 3–4 

LA CROSSE, Wis. - The Viterbo Concert Choir and an orchestra of players from the region will perform Part I of Messiah by George Frederic Handel Saturday, Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 4 at 2 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center Main Theatre. 

The Saturday evening performance will include singing and playing by alumni who will join the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Fine Arts Center. Soloists include Viterbo students Ashley Mispagel, Chelsey Spaeth, Avery Boettcher, Meghan Rinehart, Chelsea Verges, Ione Peterson, Ken Lauer, Raymond Graybar, and Aidan Smerud. 

“The Concert Choir and our fine student soloists are working hard to prepare this inspiring work,” said Jean Saladino, music, and the director of the performance. “We are looking forward to joining with the orchestra and to performing Messiah for the community.” 

Messiah is the most beloved and frequently performed oratorio in the English language. Charles Jennens, Handel’s librettist, used diverse scriptures to relate the story of the life of Christ. The recitatives and arias present the narration while choruses comment on the story. Handel, the father of the oratorio, was truly an international musician. Messiah is a synthesis of styles he would have known very intimately. He uses Italian bel canto vocal style with elements of the sacred chorale from his German Lutheran heritage while French dance and Italian street music can be heard in the orchestral movements. 

Though the work was appreciated as a theatrical entertainment in its day, Handel commented, “I should be sorry if I only entertained them-I wish to make them better.” The final week of his life he attended a performance of the oratorio at the Foundling’s Hospital in London. Messiah lives on as a testament to Handel’s belief in the divine humanity of Christ. (Notes from Myers: Messiah) 

Tickets are $17 for main floor, $16 for lower balcony, and $13 for upper balcony seating. For more information, contact the Viterbo box office at ext. 3100 or visit 

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