13 April

Handel, via Our Lady's Choral Society websiteOn yesterday’s date, 13 April, Handel’s Messiah had its world premiere in Neal’s Music Hall on Fishamble Street in Dublin in 1742. Weather permitting, Our Lady’s Choral Society now annually perform Messiah on Fishamble Street on this date. For example, see this wonderful slide show on the Irish Times site of last year’s performance by Our Lady’s Choral Society and the National Sinfonia conducted by Proinnsías Ó Duinn, and there is far more coverage on the choir’s website. The Irish Times slides are accompanied by a soundtrack of their performance of the second half of the Hallelujah Chorus (from “and He shall reign”, rather than the better-known first half – their full recording of Messiah can be purchased here). Here are reports from the Irish Times of yesterday’s performance, and here is a wonderful flash-mob performance of the Hallelujah chorus in full, performed by the UCC Campus Chorus in Áras na Mac Léinn, UCC.

On the same date, the year after Messiah‘s premiere, Thomas Jefferson was born; in 1829, the Roman Catholic Relief Act 1829 (10 Geo IV c.7) received Royal Assent; in 1900, Thomas Butts, inventor of scrabble, was born; in 1939, Seamus Heaney, Nobel Prize-winning poet, was born; and in 1963, Garry Kasparov, world chess champion turned politican, was born.