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THE SCOOP | Annual Battle of Messiahs Just Got A Little More Serious

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Photo by Matt Barnes
Photo by Matt Barnes

There is likely no other piece in the musical canon that gets more attention during the holidays than Handel’s Messiah. It gets mammoth performances every year, but in 2013, an impressive Against the Grain Theatre came out with an unorthodox production that reminded us that it is not the size that counts, but the creative vision behind it.

In partnership with The Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall, AtG has announced it will remount their Messiah production for four nights, Dec. 16 to 19, 2015 at Harbourfront Centre Theatre.

AtG artistic director Joel Ivany and AtG music director Topher Mokrzewski combine talents with choreographer Jennifer Nichols to explore form and movement, and will build upon what made the 2013 production such a charmer.

In a statement in the press release, Ivany recalls pushing the boundaries in the original production. “It proves that you can create such a moving experience simply by looking at something familiar in a different, imaginative way.”

The music will include an 18-piece orchestra and 16-member chorus. Resident AtG lighting designer Jason Hand will return to provide lighting design.

“Against the Grain Theatre has proven itself as Toronto’s go-to company for fresh and innovative thinking,” says Chris Lorway, director of programming for Massey Hall Roy Thomson Hall.

Performers will include soprano Miriam Khalil, mezzo-soprano Andrea Ludwig, tenor Owen McCausland and bass-baritone Stephen Hegedus.

Tickets are available online at, or by phone 416-872-4255.


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Michael Vincent
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Michael Vincent

Editor at Musical Toronto
Michael Vincent has worked as a senior editor for La Scena Musicale and web editor for Norman Lebrecht. On January 21, 2014, he went to lunch and left as the publisher of Musical Toronto. Later that year he found himself as a freelance classical music critic for the Toronto Star, the former employer of his favourite author Ernest Hemingway. Michael holds a Doctorate in Music from the University of Toronto.
Michael Vincent
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