It was a night to remember. Approximately three hundred people came out in unseasonably cold weather to hear a Handel’s Messiah in the historic Garden Tomb. While this work has been performed in Hebrew in West Jerusalem it had never been performed like this in East Jerusalem.
The 32 voice Liturgi-Kal choir, 4 young Israeli soloists, and the Tel Aviv Soloists Ensemble with David Loden conducting valiantly braved high winds, sirens, two Muslim calls to prayer, helicopters, air planes overhead and thunder to present this amazing work proclaiming Messiah’s victory over death. Since the performance was being recorded and filmed for a DVD, the music was amplified and could be heard in parts of the city.
As the trees waved wildly over the heads of the orchestra and choir, and their musical scores blew and fluttered in the winds, they sang and played with excellence, joy and power. At one point a large light on a stand blew over and almost knocked the conductor down before being grabbed by a member of the audience.
After performing two of the three parts of the Messiah, with the winds rising, and following the glorious Halleluiah Chorus, the conductor stood and said that although the Messiah had three parts and they had only sung two of them it was time to break for the evening. Everyone, it seemed, happily agreed.
All in all, it was a glorious time and many glowing comments were heard as the audience was leaving. No one was disappointed. In spite of the obstacles, it was an amazing evening with the words of scripture having been beautifully proclaimed over the city of the great King in the place where he rose from the dead. It was truly a night to remember.