Community Calendar

TV Schedules & Grids

Sunday, August 2 at 8:00 p.m.

Classical Music Meets Classic Rock as a Centuries-Old Tradition Gets a 21st-Century Upgrade –

Celebrate the spirit of Christmas in August with the all-new holiday classic HANDEL’S MESSIAH ROCKS. It’s part of special programming airing Sunday, August 2 at 8:00 p.m. on WVPT.

Blending classical music with classic rock, HANDEL’S MESSIAH ROCKS breathes new life into Handel’s most performed oratorio while staying true to the core meaning and structure of the popular work. This thoroughly entertaining — and inspiring — program features thrilling songs, an orchestra, a rock band, an adult choir and a children’s choir, and some of the most powerful solo voices on stage and screen. The music is all under the capable hands of Keith Lockhart — one of America’s most recognized and accomplished conductors.

All of these elements combine to create a new genre of music for all generations and reinvigorate one of the most beloved musical compositions of all time. From the rousing classical and rock mash-up of the overture to the glorious new take on the “Hallelujah” chorus, this program will delight Messiah’s many fans.

Featured soloists are La Chanze, Tony-Award winning vocalist from The Color Purple; J. Robert Spencer, Tony-nominated performer (Jersey Boys); and MiG Ayesa (We Will Rock You international tour and on London’s West End and a finalist on CBS’ “Rockstar: INXS”). Also featured is the University Choir of the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, directed by Murray Kidd. The program was recorded at Boston’s Majestic Theater in 2008.

Messiah has been performed over the course of four centuries and has a long evolutionary history. The first notable adaptation of Handel’s oratorio was by Mozart, and the piece has been continually “updated” since then. Originally conceived as a Lenten celebration, often performed at Christmastime, the traditional composition has compelled its admirers to listen to the work and attend live performances all year long.

HANDEL’S MESSIAH ROCKS, with music adapted by Jason Howland and libretto adapted by Dani Davis, is based on the original oratorio by George Frederick Handel with libretto by Charles Jennens. It was directed by Dani Davis.

A stage version of Handel’s Messiah Rocks will tour the U.S. in November and December 2009.

For more of this month's special programming click here.