Too Hot To Handel

George Frideric Handel was on a roll in the spring of 1742, when he premiered his great oratorio: Messiah.  Two hundred and seventy-seven years later, Handel’s Messiah is one of the most performed and popular choral works appreciated by audiences all over the world. Instantly recognizable is the famous “Hallelujah Chorus,” during which it is customary to stand. It is exactly that sense of excitement that prompted conductor Marin Alsop to suggest giving Handel’s Messiah a new twist. Too Hot to Handel grew from an idea to fruition in the hands of Alsop’s colleagues: Gary Anderson and Bob Christianson, who recreated this gospel and jazz version adaptation of Messiah in 1992. 

The sensational appeal of Too Hot to Handel — which premiered in 1993 with Marin Alsop and the Concordia Orchestra — has been met with the same enthusiasm as when the ink was fresh in 1742. Alsop, in collaboration with Christianson and Anderson, envisioned the Messiah in a way that captures a fresh “feel” and thrill, while retaining Handel’s original musical intent. “It’s a great story, but I also think that it requires some kind of audience participation. It becomes an active listening experience when you’re allowed to stand up and clap your hands…” says Alsop.

Too Hot to Handel has been performed on national and international stages with orchestras including the Colorado Symphony, São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, Jacksonville Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Michigan Opera Theatre, Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, Orpheum Theatre Group, Memphis and more.

Experience this dynamic, uplifting celebration as a live performance , recording, or better yet – perform it with your orchestra!