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Historic Inn Annapolis MDHonoring their annual holiday tradition, the U.S. Naval Academy Glee Club will perform excerpts from the beloved Messiah by Handel along with the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra and soloists from the Metropolitan Opera Company.

Dr. Aaron Smith, the Director of Musical Activities and Chairman of the USNA Music Department, will conduct two performances of this stirring concert in the Main Chapel of the U.S. Naval Academy during the first weekend of December 2018. Previous performances have been broadcast by PBS Television across the country.


George Frideric Handel (1685-1759) was a German, subsequently British, Baroque composer. His career was mostly spent in London, where he became famous for composing operas, oratorios, anthems, and organ concertos. Handel was trained in Halle-upon-Saale and began his career as a composer in Hamburg and Italy prior to moving to London in 1712. He became a naturalized British subject in 1727.

History of Handel’s Messiah

An English-language oratorio, Messiah was composed in 1741 by George Frideric Handel, featuring scriptural text from the King James Bible and the Book of Common Prayer compiled by Charles Jennen.

The work debuted in Dublin on April 13, 1742 and made its London premiere almost a year after, receiving lukewarm receptions. However, Messiah gradually grew in popularity and became the most famous and performed choral piece in the Western world.

Handel’s reputation was well established by his Italian operas by the time he wrote Messiah. His transition in the 1730s to English oratorio was a reaction to changes in public taste, and Messiah was his sixth work in this genre.

Even though the composition has an operatic structure, it has no dramatic features like character impersonations or direct speech. Jennen’s text is rather a spiritual contemplation pondering Jesus as the Messiah called Christ.

Event Details

  • Location: Main Chapel, U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis
  • 1st Performance Date & Time: Saturday, December 1, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.
  • 2nd Performance Date & Time: Sunday, December 2, 2018 at 3:00 p.m.
  • Phone: (410) 293-TIXS (8497)

Your Inn Near the Naval Academy

The U.S. Naval Academy is about half a mile away from Gibson’s Lodgings, a historic inn located in downtown Annapolis. Call us to reserve your room at our toll free number (877) 330-0057. We’ll be very happy to serve you and your family throughout the year.

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