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Christmas treat for music lovers


In-demand UK conductor Christian Curnyn is heading Down Under for only the second time to direct the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra in its 2018 performance of Handel’s Messiah.

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Considered a ‘Handel specialist’, Curnyn founded the Early Opera Company in 1994 and for the past 22 years has been giving notable performances through the UK. Joining him at Elder Hall is a quartet of the best Australian soloists and the world-class Adelaide Chamber Singers.

While Messiah is technically an Easter passion piece, Curnyn said part one was “all about the birth of Jesus” so was also considered a Christmas treat.

“The whole piece moves through wonder to sorrow and culminates in exultant joy,” he told The Southern Cross.

Describing the oratorio as one of the “greatest works in western classical music”, he said conducting Messiah was always a “transcendental experience”.

“The music seems to live and breathe,” he said.

Renowned for his innovative approach to opera, Curnyn said he wasn’t planning anything “too shocking” but added that “it may be a little faster and lighter than some people are used to”.

“But I hope they are carried along by the dance rhythms and fleet tempos,” he said.

“That’s not to say we won’t give gravitas to the sublime Passion music.”

Curnyn said he was very happy and excited to be coming back to Australia but was a little worried about returning to Scotland for Christmas after 23 days in the Australian summer.

Messiah: December 13, 14 and 15, 7.30pm Elder Hall.




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