By Linda Sickler / Savannah Morning News; Accent Section

Read the original article here

Never say never.

Tickets for Handel’s “Messiah,” which will be performed Feb. 21 by the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus and soloists from the State Opera House in Halle, Germany, sold out weeks ago.

But there is hope.

A waiting list has been established for those unlucky folks who didn’t get a ticket. Just call 912-232-6002 and leave your name, number of tickets requested, seating level and a return phone number.

“We were surprised by the early sell-out,” says David Pratt, executive director of the Savannah Philharmonic. “We somewhat anticipate Holiday Pops, but to have ‘Messiah’ sell out nearly five weeks before a concert is definitely a first for the Philharmonic.”

If you’re not successful in getting a ticket that way, it doesn’t hurt to try your luck.

“We usually try to pack them in like sardines,” says Peter Shannon, orchestra artistic director and conductor. “It may be worth your while to stand outside for an hour because even though it is sold out, there are empty seats because people get sick or can’t come.”

This concert is going to be special, Shannon says.

“It’s being performed on Handel’s birthday weekend and the soloists are from Handel’s birthplace,” he says. “They are the soloists in the State Opera House.

“Halle is a sister city of Savannah. The German Heritage Society here helped pay for their flight and other expenses and Honorary Consul of Germany Denis Blackburne arranged for money to be found to get them here.”

There also is a special connection for Shannon, who is from Ireland.

“Handel’s Messiah was first performed in Dublin in Ireland,” he says. “The choir that sang was my old choir.

“I have a very strong tradition with this piece, too. I suppose it’s one of Dublin’s claims to fame.

“Now that we’ve got that Irish/Dublin influence, the exchange between the two cities, the birthday weekend and the fact that the soloists are coming from Halle, all these different parameters are coming into this equation,” Shannon says. “It’s going to be a very beautiful concert.”

A performance of “Messiah” is always well received in Savannah.

“It is rare to hear this epic choral masterwork performed in its entirety,” Shannon says. “Most people will have heard bits and pieces of the larger work at Christmas or Easter.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to work with the soloists from the State Opera House in Halle, Germany — Handel’s birthplace and also Savannah’s sister city,” he says.

“The concert performance takes place on the weekend of Handel’s 328th birthday. The Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus will bring this thrilling, majestic oratorio to life.”


What: Handel’s Messiah

When: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21

Where: Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, 222 E. Harris St.

Cost: $36, $60, $100. Sold out.

Info: 912-232-6002