Oct 16, 2020 9:18 PM

Bethany Oratorio Society: livestream performance

Posted Oct 16, 2020 9:18 PM

LINDSBORG -- The Bethany Oratorio Society’s 2020 performance of Handel’s Messiah, originally planned for Easter Sunday last spring, is coming up this weekend.

The livestream performance is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday from Presser Hall. The performance will have no audience members in Presser Hall. To watch the livestream, please visit www.bethanylb.edu/live.

The concert will mark the 139th consecutive year that the Bethany Oratorio Society has performed Handel’s “Messiah.” 

The spring performance was postponed due to COVID-19 and Artistic Director Mark Lucas has had to get creative to move forward in a manner safe for all participants.

“I feel confident in our protocol and am looking forward to this special performance. I only wish we could have the entire group singing and playing,” said Lucas.

Lucas asked for volunteers and had so many responses he had to randomly choose 28 singers, the amount that can fit onstage while remaining socially distanced. Additionally, all singers will wear special “singing masks'' at all times, and the reduced orchestra (fewer than 15 total players) will also be masked the majority of the time they are onstage. Other precautions include not having an audience and requiring all participants to complete a health screen before the performance.

Featured soloists this fall include Bethany College’s own Professor Leslie Mangrum, soprano, and Katelyn Mattson-Levy, an accomplished mezzo-soprano who also serves as classical music coordinator and weekday host for Radio Kansas.

“The performance itself will be scaled back to remain in compliance with current research indicating the need for a break in singing after a maximum of 45 minutes. It will be in two equal halves of 45 minutes each with a 20 minute intermission.” 

At this time the Oratorio Society plans to carry out the 2021 festival as planned during Holy Week 2021. For up-to-date information on both the fall 2020 and spring 2021 performances stay tuned to https://bethanylb.edu/music and/or www.messiahfestival.org.