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Handel’s “Messiah”

One way to handle Christmas is to attend Handel’s “Messiah,” performed by the Apollo Chorus December 6 & 20, and stay at the nearby and affordable Chicago Lake Shore Hotel!

Supposedly, in 1772, George Frederic Handel was walking with a friend in London when he stopped mid-stride and shouted, “I am seeing God!” Then he hurried home and, eschewing food or rest, composed the entire “Messiah” in mere weeks.  His friend, the librettist Charles Jennens, had sent him the libretto in July, and the music was seemingly born in a stream of consciousness. Alas, there is no documentation that King George II even attended the initial concert, must less stood up for “The Hallelujah Chorus.”

The Apollo Chorus has become famous for its annual “Messiah” production. This year, the December 6 concert will be at Orchestra Hall and the December 20 production will be held at the HarrisTheater for Music and Dance. The chorus, founded in 1872, is made up of over 120 amateur singers who travel and perform throughout the Midwest. Their Christmas “Messiah” is a favorite Chicago holiday tradition.

Orchestra Hall is located at 220 South Michigan Avenue. The Harris Theater for Music and Dance is at 205 East Randolph Drive. For tickets and more information, go online to

Make your Handel’s “Messiah” experience more enjoyable by staying at the Chicago Lake Shore Hotel, in Hyde Park. Chicago Lake Shore offers free shuttle bus service to and from the Loop area and is close to bus and train services. The Lake Shore Café offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. AND Jazz and seafood buffet, Friday nights.