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3,000 attend first performance of Handel’s Messiah in Knock

By Sarah Mac Donald - 28 November, 2017

Fr Richard Gibbons, Rector of Knock Shrine with Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo, Papal Nuncio, and Archbishop Michael Neary of Tuam, at the performance of Handel’s Messiah in Knock Basilica.

The recent sell-out performance of Handel’s Messiah at Knock Basilica will be broadcast on RTÉ’s Lyric FM on Christmas Day.

Over 3,000 people from all over Ireland, the UK and further afield attended the performance, which took place on Saturday last.

They were joined by Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo, the Papal Nuncio, and Archbishop Michael Neary of Tuam.

Following last year’s sell-out performance of the Concert for Peace, presented by the Mayo International Choral Festival and attended by President Michael D. Higgins, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra returned this year to perform Handel’s masterpiece.

Ballina Chamber Choir, Cór Mhaigh Eo and Our Lady’s Choral Society during the performance of Handel’s Messiah in Knock. Photo Frances Marshall.

Conductor Proinnsías Ó Duinn led a 180-strong choir comprising members of Mayo’s multi award-winning Cór Mhaigh Eo and the Ballina Chamber Choir who joined forces with the Dublin-based Our Lady’s Choral Society.

The line-up of international soloists were: Soprano Claudia Boyle, Tenor Julian Hubbard, Alto Anne Marie Gibbons and Bass Christopher Cull.

Speaking following the performance, Rector of Knock Fr Richard Gibbons said the concert was “the culmination of 11 months of careful planning by many people in many areas”.

He paid tribute to Knock Shrine staff and the many volunteers and local businesses who contributed to the success of the evening.

The concert, presented by Liz Nolan, will be broadcast on Christmas Day at 1pm on RTÉ Lyric FM.

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