TOC Artistic Director Tim Sharp on the December 19th Performance of “Messiah”

Tulsa Oratorio Chorus performs the seasonal choral staple, G.F. Handel’s Messiah, on December 19th at the Lorton Performance Center on the University of Tulsa campus. This performance of the popular choral work will have an innovative performance order, arranged by Artistic Director Tim Sharp.

As described by Dr. Sharp,

“All of my reading and research points out the most obvious of fundamental aspects of this pursuit, which is, everyone, including Handel, monkeyed around with the flow and editing of the Messiah; and it continues with most every performance since.  Most of the front material to the Watkins Shaw edition is a reconciliation of some sort of order justification, and then, that particular edition gives the performer choices as you walk through it.  I particularly enjoy the ingenious way they lay out “He Shall Feed His Flock”, first for soprano, and then the alto/soprano version–great use of paper!”

The December 19th performance will be what Sharp terms a “Eucharist Ordering”:

“Two ideas in this ordering emerged:  the first was a real epiphany for me, a Eucharist theme, focusing on “lamb, sheep, flock, shepherd”, which makes the piece work year-round; and secondly, I turned the ordering into a dialect: a statement, then a reflection.  Other themes at work are some key relationships, choral singing on what is usually solo material, reduced solos, eliminated recitatives, eliminated heroic choruses and arias, and the use of only a chamber instrumental ensemble.”

Below is the order for Messiah: a Eucharist Ordering, with a supplemental Bible study companion in brackets:

Overture-Instrumental

Behold the Lamb of God  [John 1: 29]

He Shall Feed His Flock (as Soprano solo)  [Isaiah 40: 1 ,  Matthew 11: 28-29]

All We Like Sheep [Isaiah 53: 6]

Thy Rebuke/Behold/He Was Cut Off/But Thou Didst Not Leave (Tenor solo) [Psalms, Lamentations, Isaiah, Psalms]

Since by Man Came Death  [I Corinthians 15: 21-22]

Pifa–Instrumental

O Death (as Tenor Section/Alto Section duet, not solo duet) [I Corinthians 15: 55-56]

But Thanks [I Corinthians 15: 57]

If God Be For us, Who Can Be Against Us?  (Soprano solo) [Romans 8: 31, 33-34]

Worthy is the Lamb [Revelations 5: 12-13]

O Thou that Tellest (Alto section-not solo/SATB) [Isaiah 40: 9]

Glory to God  [Luke 2:14]

For Unto Us a Child is Born  [Isaiah 9:6]

Every Valley (Tenor solo) [Isaiah 60: 4]

Hallelujah [Revelations 19: 6, 11:15, 19:1]

The 150 voice Tulsa Oratorio Chorus and instrumentalists from the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, along with solo vocalists soprano Meray Boustani, and tenor Kim Childs, present this new hearing of the piece, conducted by Tim Sharp.

Tickets for the Thursday, December 19, 7:30 PM performance are available by clicking here, and at the Lorton Performance Center Box Office on the evening of the performance.