Opera Scotland

Messiah 1959Dundee Choral Union

Read more about the opera Messiah

Dundee Choral Union had concluded the celebration of its centenary the previous month with a well-cast Brahms Requiem. Now at the turn of the year the opportunity arose to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the death of Handel. The SNO had been used for the Brahms, so the local Dundee Orchestral Society, also a long-established Victorian foundation, was employed - an experienced band led by Jessie Wilkie. The conductor was on the music staff at Glenalmond College in Perthshire.

The solo quartet consisted of notable young performers. Honor Sheppard, a very pure-toned soprano, is remembered particularly for her work with the Alfred Deller Consort, but she sang regularly with choral societies, particularly in the north of England. John Lawrenson was a baritone with Sadler's Wells Opera, and was also a popular broadcasting artist.

The husband and wife pairing of John Mitchinson and Maureen Guy are not usually associated with Handel or other baroque repertoire - though in the early eighties he sang in Vivaldi's Griselda at the Buxton Festival, and he also sang Idomeneo with ENO. They both developed into highly reputable performers of Wagner, spending several years in Germany. She worked in Scottish Opera's first Ring production, as well as appearing with the Royal Opera and Welsh National. John Mitchinson deveoped into a heroic tenor with a repertoire including Tristan. With Scottish Opera he later sang some character parts.

This performance, before an audience of 1400, was generally approved by the Courier reviewer, Mitchinson, in particular, being commended for the beauty and suavity of his tone and his dramatic sense.

Performance DatesMessiah 1959

Map List

Caird Hall | Dundee

30 Dec, 19.30

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