My parents and I watched the XIII Annual Handel’s Messiah last December 17, 2011 at the St. James Cathedral in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Before we entered at the historic cathedral, we had really experienced the wind chill that I felt at least -15°C because it’s really near at the Lake Ontario. I was so flabbergasted because my entire body trembled by the extreme cold weather before eventime.
The highlights of the concert started with the two Christmas songs “Joy to the World” and “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and followed the selections from George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah”.
These songs which were performed by the members of Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO), the Mississauga Choral Society and conducted by Mervin Fick featuring the four soloists: Emma Culpeper — in soprano; Bryan Estabrooks — baritone; James Gardiner — trumpet; and David Murrell — in harpsicord. That Messiah Concierto inside the St. James Cathedral was introduced by The Very Reverend Douglas Stoute, Dean of Toronto and Peter Ehrlich.
It was highly appreciated about the early night’s concert at the St. James Cathedral. I thought that I always listened to the FM Radio or audio CD way back home in the Philippines. I filled with goosebumps when I watched, listened and enjoyed the “LIVE” orchestra music inside the cathedral.
Handel’s composition “For Unto Us A Child Is Born” which based from Isaiah 9:6 and I sang it in a low volume inside the cathedral. I remember that song which always sung by the members of the church choir during the entrance hymn of the Midnight Mass every Christmas when I was in Catholic years.
The audience stood up when they heard the song, “Hallelujah” to remind the victorious resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Sopranist Emma Culpeper performed four songs (in her stunning voice) of the following: “There Were Shepherds”, “Lo The Angel of The Lord”, “And the Angel Said Unto Them”, “And Suddenly There Was the Angel”. Meanwhile, baritonist Bryan Estabrooks also performed the song “Behold I tell you” and “The Trumpet Shall Sound” with trumpeteer James Gardiner.
Before the culmination of the concert program, The Very Reverend Stoute read the short quote from the late MP Jack Layton:
“My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.”
After reading the short quote, the surprise song from the Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love” performed by Bryan Estrabrooks with the members of TSO, Mississauga Choral Society and the whole audience.
A Gift-Concert to the City of Toronto — Choruses from Handel’s Messiah” founded by the late Canadian MP Jack Layton thirteen years ago. The Canadian audience and the performers definitely missed MP Jack Layton who started the legacy for this wonderful and magical concert but they felt he was there watching and enjoying the concierto at that night. I really never saw Layton when I arrived here in Toronto, Canada. MP Layton passed away on August 22, 2011.
Thank you, Jack Layton. You started and left the legacies to inspire the hearts of each citizen here in Canada. I’ll meet you soon in God’s time!