Chichester counter-tenor Jake Barlow joins Messiah performance in Worthing

Jake Barlow pic by Paul Hurst
Jake Barlow pic by Paul Hurst

Chichester counter-tenor Jake Barlow joins Worthing Choral Society’s Christmas concert this year for a performance of Handel’s inspiring oratorio, Messiah.

The concert is on December 1 in Worthing’s Assembly Hall, starting at 7.30pm. Tickets are £12 for all seats (concessions available) from Worthing Theatres box office, telephone 01903 206206 or www.worthingtheatres.co.uk.

Jake is delighted to be joining the event: “For me, the biggest challenge of the Messiah is that it is so well known. With such famous pieces of music, the challenge is to keep it fresh, engaging, and exciting both for the choir during rehearsals, and for the audience on concert night. But therein lies the joy of a piece like The Messiah – every time you sing or listen to it, there is something new to be found, and even after countless listenings and plenty of performances, The Messiah still genuinely excites me. It is a gift that keeps on giving.”

Jake added: “My involvement with Worthing Choral Society came about as the result of a happy accident. As a relative newcomer to Sussex (I moved here just over a year ago), I wanted to reach out to let the choral society know that I was available for work as a concert soloist and singing teacher.

“The choir just happened to have been thinking of engaging a new conductor, so I met with MD Aedan Kerney and chairman Barry Bates and the rest, as they say, is history.

“I am involved with the choir on a regular basis. I attend weekly rehearsals where I help to rehearse and train the choir for the projects in which they are involved. I also work on the choir’s vocal technique and advise the organisation in voice matters. I’ve already had the pleasure of guest conducting their summer concert, which took place in Lancing this past June.

“WCS is a great group, and they have some exciting things coming up this season. As well as their upcoming Messiah, they will be taking part in the 70th anniversary celebrations for the Worthing Philharmonic.”

Musical director Aedan Kerney, now in his tenth year leading Worthing Choral Society, added: “The work was first performed in Dublin on April 13 1742, with a London premiere a year later.

“Despite its amazing premiere, its reception in London was modest at first, but it gradually gained popularity and today is Handel’s best known and most loved work. Messiah is a Heineken composition, one which reaches the parts other music is unable to reach. The purity of the soprano soloist’s And suddenly there was with the angel, the power of the Hallelujah Chorus, and the soaring architecture of the final Amen Chorus are just some of the moments which make my spine tingle.”

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