On April 13, 1742, Handel’s “Messiah” had its first public performance at the Great Music Hall in Dublin, Ireland.
Composed by George Frideric Handel in just 24 days, the oratorio “Messiah” is one of the most well-known and beloved works in the choral music repertoire. The piece tells the story of the life of Jesus Christ through a series of biblical texts set to music, and includes the famous “Hallelujah” chorus.
Handel premiered the work in Dublin, where he had been invited to give a series of concerts. The performance was a tremendous success, with a packed audience of around 700 people. The Dublin Journal reported that the work was received with “universal applause” and that the performance was “the most Grand, and the most Crowded that, perhaps, ever was in this Kingdom.”
After the premiere in Dublin, Handel continued to revise and perform “Messiah” throughout his lifetime, and the work remains a staple of the classical music repertoire to this day.