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Arcadia Players recreate Handel's 'Messiah' with period instruments

NORTHAMPTON - The Arcadia Players will present the complete performance of George Frideric Handel's oratorio "Messiah" on Dec. 19 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 3 Elm St., Northampton. Allan Taylor, known throughout the Pioneer Valley as a choral conductor, music director, organist and harpsichordist, will be guest conductor. Arcadia's celebrated presentation of "Messiah" in historically informed style features a professional orchestra of 18th-century size and composition playing period instruments, and a 12 voice choir whose members serve as both soloists and chorus. By presenting a lighter, more transparent sound from this size ensemble, Taylor is hoping to provide audiences with an illuminating and inspiring performance of Handel's great score. The Dec. 19 performance of "Messiah" at St. Mary's Catholic Church is potentially the final performance by Arcadia Players at this historic location, as St. Mary's is slated for closing by the Diocese of Springfield. Taylor is director of the Northampton-based Hampshire Choral Society, a large auditioned chorus based in Northampton as well as a concert organist and harpsichordist, performing as accompanist and in solo recital. He has performed with Arcadia Players on organ and harpsichord. Tickets to "Messiah" may be ordered in advance by calling 586-8742 or online at www.cabotix.com. Advance tickets are $25 for general admission, $35 for preferred seating, and $10 for students. Prices at the door are $30 for general admission, $40 for preferred seating, and $10 for students. More information is available at 586-8742 or www.arcadiaplayers.org.

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