Story: Choral music and choirs

The Messiah

This poster advertises a 2013 performance of the much-loved oratorio The Messiah by the Orpheus Choir of Wellington and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Listen to the choir sing the famous 'Hallelujah chorus' from the work. Traditionally, the audience stands up during this chorus. The custom arose from a popular belief that at the London premiere of the work in 1743, King George II stood in spontaneous awe, obliging everyone else present to stand also.

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New Zealand Symphony Orchestra

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Sound courtesy of The Orpheus Choir of Wellington. Audio recorded for broadcast by Radio New Zealand Concert

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How to cite this page:

Nancy Swarbrick, 'Choral music and choirs - Choirs in the 2000s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/music/42217/the-messiah (accessed 27 April 2017)

Story by Nancy Swarbrick, published 22 Oct 2014