Marin Alsop returns to Denver with "Too Hot To Handel"

Experience the one-and-only R&B, jazz, rock and gospel reworking of Handel’s Messiah with the Colorado Symphony!
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Nov. 17, 2011 - PRLog -- Colorado Symphony conductor laureate Marin Alsop returns to Colorado for a 14th straight year to conduct the one-and-only Too Hot to Handel – the incomparable reinterpretation of Handel’s Messiah – in two spectacular performances on Friday, December 16 and Saturday, December 17 at Boettcher Concert Hall. Called “the jazziest, most soulful reinterpretation of Handel's Messiah you'll ever hear” by the New York Post, Too Hot to Handel features the Colorado Symphony and Chorus, joined by acclaimed soloists including soprano Cynthia Renée Saffron, mezzo-soprano Vaneese Thomas and tenor Lawrence Clayton. Heralded as "a crossover project that really works" by the St. Petersburg Times and "Handel with flair" by BBC Magazine, Too Hot to Handel takes the timeless brilliance of Handel’s classic oratorio and infuses it with a blend of jazz, gospel, rock and R&B.

For 13 consecutive seasons, Denver concertgoers have smiled, cheered, and danced in the aisles to this fabulous reworking of Handel’s Messiah – a rare musical sensation that crosses traditional boundaries while retaining its heartfelt sense of inspiration and hope. On Too Hot to Handel, the New York Times wrote, "Listeners hooted, whistled and shouted their approval after every number. The 'Hallelujah Chorus' was so ecstatically received, it was repeated as an encore." In its enthusiastic review, The Chicago Tribune wrote, "Ingeniously re-imagined to embrace black musical tradition, the aptly named Too Hot to Handel proved that even the most revered classical masterpieces can be taught to swing."

This year, come and experience what people are raving about: the exhilaration of Too Hot to Handel with the Colorado Symphony and Chorus! Tickets are on sale now and start at $25.00.

About Too Hot to Handel

George Frideric Handel was on a roll in the spring of 1742, when he premiered his great oratorio: Messiah. It was reported in the Dublin Journal by an anonymous critic that, “On Tuesday last Mr. Handel’s Sacred Grand Oratorio, the Messiah, was performed at the New Musical Hall in Fishamble Street. The Sublime, the Grand and the Tender, adapted to the most elevated, majestik and moving Words, conspired to transport and charm the ravished Heart and Ear.”

Two hundred and sixty-nine 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 infamous section of the “Hallelujah Chorus,” which always gets people on their feet during performances of Messiah.

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 new 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 it was when the ink was fresh in 1742.

Marin 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. The creative team of Alsop-Christianson-Anderson decided their adaptation would encompass jazz, gospel, rock and funk—to “break the classical sound barrier.” The result is a swinging performance of the traditional oratorio.
— courtesey Ella M. Fredrickson

Tickets: Remaining tickets currently start at $25. Tickets are on sale now at
, the Colorado Symphony Box Office: (303) 623-7876 or (877) 292-7979 or in-person in the lobby of Boettcher Concert Hall in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Hours are Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Colorado Symphony
Marin Alsop, conductor laureate
Colorado Symphony Chorus with members of community choruses and Manual and Montbello High Schools
Mary Louise Burke, associate director
Cynthia Renée Saffron, soprano
Vaneese Thomas, mezzo-soprano
Lawrence Clayton, tenor
Dana Landry, organ
Clifford Carter, piano
Clint de Ganon, drums

Friday, December 16 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, December 17 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are on sale now and start at $25.00.

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The state’s only full-time professional orchestra, the Colorado Symphony embraces a tradition of musical excellence by presenting a diverse array of symphonic performances throughout the year. The Colorado Symphony performs in Boettcher Concert Hall and throughout the Front Range, presenting outstanding education and outreach programs, as well as Masterworks, Pops, Holiday, Family, and the exciting new Inside the Score and Symphony on the Rocks series that have attracted a historic level of first-time concertgoers. By presenting music that is both timeless and inspiring, the Colorado Symphony is attracting more diverse and younger audiences than ever before. The increasing popularity of Colorado Symphony concerts not only re-affirms the artistic excellence of the orchestra, but also reflects the Symphony’s relevance to its Colorado community and deep-rooted enthusiasm for symphonic music felt by so many individuals across the region.
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Tags:Marin Alsop, Colorado symphony, Denver, Orchestra, Holiday, Christmas, Handel, Hallelujah, Chorus, R B, December
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Location:Denver - Colorado - United States
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