December 24 2021

Bach Collegium Japan “MESSIAH” since 2001
With Paid Live Stream and On Demand

Celebrate Christmas at Suntory Hall

Suntory Hall is pleased to present Handel’s seasonal masterpiece, Messiah, on Christmas Eve, performed by the internationally renowned baroque orchestra and chorus, Bach Collegium Japan (BCJ) directed by Masaaki Suzuki. Their Messiah at Christmas has become a popular annual event at Suntory Hall, and this year it celebrates its 20th anniversary.
As in last year, BCJ’s performance of Messiah at Suntory Hall will be streamed (Paid Live Stream and On Demand), available to an international audience.

[Soloist Change as of Dec 24]
Due to vocal cords problems, Aki Matsui (soprano) will be unable to appear at today’s concert. Maki Mori (soprano) will perform in the place. Please note that tickets will not be refunded for this change.

[Soloists Change as of Dec 3]
Due to the travel restrictions strengthened for the Omicron variant, Rachel Nicholls (soprano) and Benjamin Bevan (bass) will be unable to appear at the following concert. Aki Matsui (soprano) and Takaoki Onishi (bass) will perform in their places. Please note that tickets will not be refunded for this change.

■Date & Time
Friday, December 24 2021 18:00 (JST) (Doors open 17:10)
Approx run time: 190 mins (incl. 1 intermission)

Director: Masaaki Suzuki
Chorus & Orchestra: Bach Collegium Japan
Soprano: Maki Mori
Alto (Mezzo-Soprano): Ayako Yukawa
Tenor: Satoshi Nishimura
Bass (Baritone): Takaoki Onishi

■Live Concert
S ¥10,000 A ¥8,500 B ¥7,000 P¥4,500 Student ¥1,000

■Live Stream & On Demand
* On Demand Period: Saturday, December 25, 2021 18:00 – Thursday December 30, 2021 23:00 (JST)
Booking opens at December 1, 2021

Presented by Suntory Hall

Masaaki Suzuki talks about Handel's Messiah

Handel’s Messiah, a work that tells the story of the life of Christ, resonates especially at Christmas when we celebrate the birth of the Saviour.
“You will hear beautiful voices, and in many scenes you will feel comfort . You will enjoy the sound of the chorus and the voices of the four soloists. With instrumental accompaniment, some pieces are meditative, some are brilliant, and there is also a relaxed simplicity – the work has so many expressions” explains Masaaki Suzuki.
He is the director of Bach Collegium Japan (BCJ), an orchestra and chorus made up of players specialising in period instruments. Their performance of the complete Messiah at Suntory Hall is a popular event during the Christmas season and is now in its twentieth year.
“In Britain and America, Messiah is a seasonal fixture, but I am pleased that so many people in Japan attend our performance. I think it’s significant that we perform the work every year.”
For many people, it’s not Christmas without Messiah.
The work opens with the solo tenor singing “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God,” and subsequently it tells the story of Christ’s birth, crucifixion, and resurrection, including the joyous “Hallelujah Chorus”. The organ and cello support the solo voices warmly, and the trumpet sets the festive mood. Suzuki wants to bring out the sound that the composer envisaged by performing on instruments that were used the eighteenth century, and above all wants to serve the music.
“The music will give comfort and solace, and it will also lift people’s spirits. I’m sure the music will resonate with each person in different ways. It is full of joyous energy and a fitting work for these times. We are grateful that we can perform this work despite the pandemic.”

Masaaki Suzuki